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This page is to track Iran and more specifically President Ahmadinejad, who is currently making the way clear for the 12th Mahdi, who could possibly fulfill the role of false prophet of Biblical end-times fame. (my take as of now) He has also declared the desire to see Israel "wiped off the map" and other such statements. Persia is one of the attackers in the Gog/Magog invasion attempt on Israel in the last days. While I don't know for sure how it will all play out, the relevant news about this subject will be posted here so that it's all in one place for reference.

I have begun to use a different site to share the Watchman Newsletter from December 2008 and on. Some stories will be archived there, but for the most part anything from November 2008 and before will remain here.

This page may take some time to load. For size reasons I have archived topics by year: |2006|2007|2008|

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Iran, Lebanon sign 5-year security pact The Jerusalem Post (November 27, 2008) - Iran and Lebanon have signed a security agreement, according to which Iran will supply the Lebanese army with weapons and equipment over the next five years, the London-based daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported. The agreement between the two nations was signed during Lebanese President Michel Suleiman's two-day visit to Teheran, which ended on Tuesday.

The visit focused on security and defense cooperation, as well as on regional and international matters of mutual concern, an Iranian source revealed to the paper. "Iran announced its readiness to supply Lebanon with defensive weapons, to be agreed upon in the framework of a defensive strategic system the Lebanese will formulate," a Lebanese source said. The two sides agreed to conduct ministerial visits to Teheran and Beirut in the near future. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also promised to visit Beirut soon, added the Lebanese source.

During his visit, Suleiman was accompanied by the ministers of foreign affairs, interior, labor, economy and trade, industry, and expatriates. Each of the ministers met with his Iranian counterpart to discuss mutual interests. By supplying the Lebanese army with weapons, Iran will thus be responsible for arming Lebanon's two major armed forces: the national army, and Hizbullah, The Media Line's analysts indicate.

Since the summer war of 2006 between Israel and Hizbullah, the Lebanese Islamic resistance movement has tripled its force, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said earlier this week. Hizbullah now holds 42,000 missiles and rockets, which it received from Iran, some of which can reach Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona, almost 300 kilometers south of the Israeli-Lebanese border, Barak said.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Iran Urges Lebanese to Unite Against Israel FOCUS News Agency (November 26, 2008) - Iran, a main backer of Lebanon's Shi'ite group Hezbollah, urged the Lebanese people Tuesday to unite to confront Israel, the Islamic Republic's arch foe, Reuters informed. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comments to Lebanese President Michel Suleiman during a visit to Iran that included touring an exhibition by the Defense Ministry, Iranian media reported. "Iran believes the capability of all Lebanese groups should be at the service of (Lebanon's) power and unity to confront the danger of the Zionist regime," Khamenei told Suleiman, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iranian officials often call Israel the Zionist regime. Suleiman, a Maronite Christian, was elected president in a May parliamentary vote after an 18-month standoff between the U.S.-backed government and the Hezbollah-led opposition. Under Lebanon's power-sharing system the presidency is held by a Christian while other top posts are taken by Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims and members of the Druze sect. "Holding talks among different Lebanese groups that are now led by the president is considered positive because Lebanon's bright future depends on national unity," Khamenei said.

Suleiman, a former army chief, was elected as part of an agreement brokered by Qatar in May to defuse the political crisis that had pushed Lebanon to the brink of civil war. Tehran has often praised Hezbollah, which has formidable guerrilla army, for fighting Israel in a 34-day war in 2006. Israel has accused Iran of supplying weapons to Hezbollah but Iran insists it only provides moral and political support. "Lebanon as a friendly and brotherly country in the region will always enjoy Iran's spiritual support," Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani told Suleiman, Iran's ISNA news agency reported.

Suleiman's trip included touring an exhibition showing off the Defense Ministry's capabilities, ISNA also said. Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced Iran's readiness to "deepen and expand defensive ties between two states in line with the strengthening of Lebanon's security and increasing Lebanon's national and defensive capabilities." ISNA reported that Suleiman "expressed interest in expanding defensive cooperation and emphasized the need to strengthen the Lebanese army's defensive power in confronting any kind of threat, foreign aggression and terrorism." Khamenei said Iran would "always be on Lebanon's side" and said he hoped talks during the visit would strengthen ties. Suleiman, who left Tuesday, also met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his two-day visit.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Iran, Syria tauten grip on Lebanon, Tehran woos Christian president DEBKAfile (November 22, 2008) - Tehran and Damascus are going all out to get their hooks into Lebanon’s Christian politicians and wean them away from their’ traditional ties with the West. President Michel Suleiman this week accepted an Iranian invitation to visit Tehran this month, while another Lebanese Christian leader, Hizballah’s ally Gen. Michel Aoun, arranged to visit Damascus.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that the Iranians are forging ahead with a campaign to bind the region’s Christian minorities to their Shiite wagon for challenging Sunni domination. Their first quarry is Lebanon’s powerful community. Arrangements were finalized Monday with the Iranian ambassador in Beirut Reza Shibani for president Suleiman to spend two days in Tehran on Nov. 24-25. Aoun will visit Damascus at the same time. Their country is meanwhile encircled by Syrian military forces, a factual pointer to Bashar Assad’s real intentions regarding peace.

Although these developments bode ill for Israel too, they were left out of the sweeping 2009 prognosis which the Israeli Military Intelligence chief Maj. Amos Yadlin delivered in Tel Aviv Monday, Nov. 17. Neither did he look ahead to the likelihood that Iran would be able to assemble a nuclear weapon next year, notwithstanding more than a decade of international diplomacy and sanctions.

Senior Israeli intelligence circles commented that the evaluations heard from Yadlin Monday were less attuned to reality than to the estimated positions of the incoming US president Barack Obama’s Middle East team and Olmert-Livni policies. Like them, he omitted to address the agendas which Tehran and Damascus are actively pursuing. Tehran launched its pursuit of Christian minorities by inviting the Lebanese Maronite leader Aoun to Tehran on Oct. 13, through Hizballah’s good offices.

The gambit worked: The Lebanese leader returned home proclaiming Iran the strongest world power between the Persian Gulf and China and predicting that his trip would bear fruit in six months. In the first week of November, Tehran heaped full honors on the Lebanon’s ex-president, the pro-Syrian Christian Emil Lahoud, when he arrived with a 60-man retinue. Michel Sleiman can expect no less.

The assumption in Israeli ruling circles that Syria as peace partner will deliver a “Lebanese dowry” is therefore fallacious. Assad plans to squeeze whatever he can from Israel and the new US administration in the coin of territory and backing for his regime, while not giving up an iota of his schemes with Tehran. For now, no one is paying attention to the Syrian-Iranian jaws snapping shut on Lebanon.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Security forces brace as settlers arrive in droves to Hebron YNet News (November 21, 2008) - Security forces deployed throughout Hebron on Thursday evening in anticipation of another night of public disturbances in the West Bank city by extreme-right activists. Although the High Court's ruling on the evacuation of the disputed house near the Tomb of the Patriarchs has not yet been carried out, tensions between Jewish settlers and law enforcement are at a boiling point.

The IDF, Border Guard and the police have all reinforced their men on the ground in preparation for the arrival of some 20,000 people to Hebron ahead of the reading of the 'Chayei Sarah' weekly portion (lit. 'The Life of Sarah,' Genesis 23:1-25:18).

The army spread out in advance following the events of Wednesday night. Throughout the day several isolated incidents were noted, and in the evening settlers claimed a policeman had assaulted a boy in the Givat Avot neighborhood after charging the latter was in violation of a house arrest. Police confirmed a youth was detained for questioning after he insulted a policeman.

Business as usual?

But despite the apparent tensions Noam Arnon, a spokesman for Hebron's Jewish community, said there was hope the night would progress calmly. The Shabbat of 'Chayei Sarah' is one of ten days in the Jewish year when Jews are allowed into Isaac's Hall, the largest and most important chamber of those comprising the Tomb of the Patriarchs. For most of the year Jews are forbidden to enter it. Due to the rarity of the occasion, the city often sees an influx of tens of thousands during this time. "We expect about 20,000 people to come to Hebron, and we're preparing of that as we do every year. Every family will host several dozen guests and the schools and public institutions will also be filled with guests, and there are public mess halls and hostels that open up," said Arnon.

Although most of those who come to Hebron to pray will leave with the conclusion of the Sabbath, Arnon realizes that some, mostly teenagers, will choose to stay and join numerous others at the disputed house in an attempt to prevent its evacuation. Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter pledged on Thursday that the High Court's ruling on the matter of the disputed house would be carried precisely as it was written. Dichter told Ynet that, as determined in the ruling, the house "will be evacuated within 30 days' time and guardianship of the property would be assumed by the state."

Rioting caught on video

A video sent to Ynet of the events of Wednesday night showcases just how far the situation has deteriorated, with extreme-right activists attacking military vehicles and rioting in the streets.

An IDF soldier was lightly wounded in the mob assault, after he was doused with turpentine near the disputed house. In the video, shot with a video provided by the B'Tselem human rights organization, right-wing activists are seen swarming military cars and clashing with soldiers. Several military and police vehicles sustained varying degrees of damage.

Thursday saw IDF soldiers spending several long hours painting over graffiti, hate slogans aimed at Muslims, from the walls of a local mosque. Settlers also desecrated a Muslim graveyard on Wednesday evening. Security officials issued a harsh condemnation of the events, and pledged they would throw the book at the perpetrators. However no suspects have been arrested thus far.

Earlier this week the High Court of Justice upheld the state's decision to evacuate the four-storey building near the Tomb of the Patriarchs until the dispute over its ownership clears up. Settlers claim they lawfully purchased the property, but the state says it suspects the documents of being forged. Meanwhile right-wing activists continue to pour into the house, and have vowed to make their stand there.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Has the U.N. Found the Smoking Gun in the Syrian ‘Nuclear’ Incident? The Media Line (November 11, 2008) - There are widespread reports in the international media that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inspectors found traces of weapons-grade uranium at a site in Syria, which Israel is believed to have destroyed in an air strike a year ago. The reports suggest the uranium was discovered in June, but the story has only just been leaked to the media. Confirmation is expected to come from the IAEA’s head Muhammad Al-Barade’i when the United Nations’ watchdog meets at the end of this month. Since the bombing, Syria has insisted the site was used for agricultural purposes, but media reports have persisted about North Korean involvement, as well as links to Iran’s nuclear program.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Russia: A Future Radical Muslim Superpower? Front Page Magazine (November 9, 2008) - Frontpage Interview's guest today is Ilshat Alsayef, one of the founding members of Muslims Against Sharia. He was born in of the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. A military officer for most of his adult life, Mr. Alsayef started his military career as a Second Lieutenant during the Soviet-Afghan war and retired as a Lieutenant-Colonel after the First Chechen War.

FP: Ilshat Alsayef, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Alsayef: Thank you very much for having me here.

FP: Tell us about the state of radicalization of Muslims in Russia and other ex-Soviet republics.

Alsayef: There were two waves of radicalization of the ex-Soviet Muslims. The first wave started after the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. After the fall of communism, former Soviet Asian republics, now independent countries (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) as well as autonomous regions of Russia (Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia), experienced a resurgence of religious freedom.

Not being able to freely practice their religion for a few generations, some of the local Muslims went overboard. Salafi groups like Hizb-ut-Tahrir, and later al Qaeda, became popular among newly-minted religious zealots. While the conflicts in Asian countries were mostly religious vs. secular, the Chechen conflict also had the independence element.

The second wave of radicalization started at the turn of the century. Some people claim that it was a result of the American War on Terror, which many Muslims interpret as the American War on Islam, but in reality the reason is skyrocketing oil revenues of Wahhabi states.

Centuries-old local mosques are being replaced by modern, Wahhabi-built mosques. Old imams who survived the communists are being replaced by Wahhabi clerics. This is not only true for predominantly Muslim countries like Tajikistan, but also for autonomous regions inside of Russia like Bashkiria and Tatarstan, where most people consider themselves more Russian than Muslim. You can see similar developments in former Yugoslavia, where moderate imams with little financial backing are being replaced by radicals with virtually unlimited financing.

If current demographic trends hold, Muslims in Russia may become a majority by the mid-century. And if current radicalization trends hold, Russia may become a war theatre comparable to Chechnya or Lebanon, but on a much larger scale.

FP: Expand for us a bit please on the demographic trends in Russia. Muslims may be the majority in Russia by mid-century? What will this mean?

Alsayef: The native Russian population is on the decline. About a year ago, the government started to provide a special subsidy for a second child; 250,000 rubles, which is about two average yearly salaries. Attracted by the economic opportunities, there is a steady stream of Muslims from the former Soviet republics and predominantly Muslim parts of the Russian Caucasus. Those Muslims tend to have much larger families than native Russian Muslims. Small Muslim communities of Moscow and St. Petersburg that comprised less 1% of the population 20 years ago have increased more than ten-fold.

The new generation of Muslims is more religious. Unfortunately, since most of the mosques are either completely or partially funded by the Wahhabis, the new generation is also more radical. 20 years ago, Russian Muslims were completely assimilated, both culturally and linguistically. The new generation tends to create its own communities. Those "enclaves" are easier radicalized.

If the trends of isolation and radicalization continue along with current demographic trends and rising oil prices, it is quite possible that by mid-century Russia will become a radical Muslim superpower.

FP: How can the current radicalization trend be stopped? The key is to stop skyrocketing oil revenues for Wahhabi states, yes? But how?

Alsayef: I could never understand why America spends a quarter of a trillion dollars a year on Persian Gulf oil while not using its own oil resources. Especially when some of this money goes to finance radical Islam worldwide (including in America itself) and the American economy suffers from high fuels prices.

Luckily, Russia does not have oil dependency. The long-term solution to stop the flow of petro-dollars to the Wahhabis is to create a non-petroleum energy solution. It will probably not happen in our lifetime, but it doesn't mean that it shouldn't be worked on today. The short-term solution is to combat radical Islam inside every democratic country. One part is to enact legislation to criminalize the spread of radical Islam. It is not an easy task, especially in America where Freedom of Speech is the cornerstone of the Constitution. However, some of the speech could be criminalized, i.e., a death threat to an individual. Advocating Sharia is a death threat to Democratic society. If you can protect an individual, you should be able to protect the society as a whole.

The other needed step is to empower moderate Muslims to combat Islamism in the public square. Unfortunately, neither the Russian nor the American government seems to distinguish between moderate Muslims and 'soft' Jihadis. In fact, Putin went so far as to condemn the publication of Prophet Mohammed cartoons.

While Russia is empowering Iran, America is empowering Saudi Arabia, which is even worse. On top of that, America is legitimizing 'soft' Jihadis and advance of Sharia by putting them in charge of government and academic programs and inviting them to major political events.

FP: Where exactly does Russia stand in the War on Terror? There is, for instance, much evidence that the Putin regime is in league with Islamists on many levels. (Click here to see Pavel Stroilov interview.)

Alsayef: I wouldn't call this evidence. When someone portrays that "FSB blew up four apartment blocks in Russia, and then were caught red-handed attempting to blow-up the fifth" as a fact, the rest of his "facts" must be taken with a grain of salt.

Did the FSB have the ability to blow up four buildings in Moscow? Absolutely. Would the FSB blow up those buildings? I find it highly improbable. Could the FSB get caught red-handed attempting to blow-up the fifth building? Absolutely not. Who would they get caught by? The cops? The cops can't touch them. By the FSB itself? Not bloody likely.

The "fact" that the FSB blew up those buildings is as much of a fact as the "fact" that the CIA blew up the Twin Towers. It is nothing more than a conspiracy theory, and Mr. Stroilov should know better than present it as a fact. The claim that "The Putin-Medvedev regime is doomed" shows that Mr. Stroilov seems to prefer wishful thinking to reality. Barring an act of God, Putin will rule Russia for a long time, no matter what title he comes up with, president, prime minister, or Tzar.

FP: Well, the connection between the FSB and the blow up of four buildings in Moscow appears to me to be pretty solid in terms of what I have studied, and the Twin Towers conspiracy theory analogy doesn’t match in anyway. But we’ll leave this for another forum. Pavel Stroilov is welcome to contribute to our pages on this issue if he wishes. Let’s get to Putin and the tie to Islamists.

Alsayef: In terms of the tie between Putin to the Islamists, first, and pretty much the only one, is Bushehr. Everybody knows that the Iranian nuclear program, euphemistically speaking, goes beyond energy. The Russians know that. The Americans know that. Even the IAEA knows that. What the Russians don't seem to understand, or maybe simply don't care about, is that an Iranian-made nuke could be detonated in Moscow just as easily as it could be detonated in Washington.

Since I'm not privy to the Russian-Iranian nuclear deal, I might not be aware of some safeguards. For example, the Russians might control the weaponized nuclear material production and would be able to match the bomb signature to the reactor. However it is unlikely for Iranians to use a nuclear weapon without plausible deniability, therefore it probably will be given to a third party. This third party most likely would be a radical Islamic group that might ignore the wishes of its masters and detonate the bomb anywhere.

Second is Syria. Syria is a Muslim country and it has a fascist regime, but it is secular. However, Syria-Iranian proxy Hizballah is an Islamist group and weapons sold to Syria have been known to turn up in Hizballah arsenal.

Third is Venezuela. Again, Venezuela's government is hardly Islamist, but Chavez offered Venezuelan passports to radical Muslims who want to go to the United States. As for al-Zawahiri, being the FSB secret agent, that's just another unsubstantiated and highly improbable rumor.

FP: Russia’s stance on the War on Terror?

Alsayef: If the terror is within Russian borders, Russia is very forcefully against it. The famous Putin's phrase about the terrorists is "budem mochit' v sortire" which roughly translates into "we'll whack them in the toilet." But if the terror is outside of Russia and it ties up American resources, then we have a different story. After all, Putin still sees America as Russia’s main rival; the fact that the feelings are not mutual, is somewhat of an insult to him. Russia doesn't mind that much. However, the biggest threat to Russia is not America, it is radicalizing Muslim population within its own borders as well as in Russia's former satellites. Putin is focusing on America while overlooking a growing Islamist threat at home. As the last decades show, radicalization of Muslims always translates into bloodshed, but Putin's government seems to think that it is immune.

FP: Ilshat Alsayef, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Alsayef: Thank you Jamie.
| Iran | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Iran Challenges Obama by Hiking Tensions on Israel’s Borders DEBKAfile (November 8, 2008) - The strategy the Islamic regime has charted for the new US president hinges on fanning tensions on Israel’s northern and southern borders while putting a damper on the various Middle East peace initiatives. Syria was therefore discouraged from returning to its indirect peace track with Israel and Hamas ordered to boycott Egypt’s bid to patch up the quarrel between the Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.

Tehran’s object is to show Barack Obama who holds the whip hand in the Middle East and force him to seek urgent talks to defuse rising tensions.

At his first news conference as president elect, Obama said Friday, Nov. 7, that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons was “unacceptable” and its support for terrorist organizations “must cease.” He ducked a reporter’s question about whether he had read the letter of congratulation sent him by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and when he would answer. But Iran had already laid out its strategy for the incoming president, jumping in the day before the US presidential election.

Foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in Damascus on Nov. 3 with a briefing for Syrian president Bashar Assad. According to our Middle East sources, Mottaki said Tehran would enter into dialogue with the new US president only from a position of political and military strength and did not propose to await Obama’s convenience until he took office in the White House on Jan. 20.

Iran’s rulers want to force the new US president to seek them out for a back-door channel of communications, in the same way as Ronald Reagan did while Jimmy Carter was still president to solve the 1980 hostage crisis in Tehran. They plan to make him come to them by raising tensions to crisis level.

While avoiding an explicit order to halt the Syrian-Israel talks, Mottaki gave Assad to understand that he must keep Tehran in the picture on their progress and goals. Better they should lead nowhere. This would fit in with Iran’s intention of putting on the table an impressive crisis package including Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians and so force the new US administration to accept the Islamic republic as the prime power in the region.

To drive this home, they are stirring the pot wherever they can.

DEBKAfile’s Exclusive military sources disclose that Iranian agents, aided by Hizballah, are enlisting Palestinian militias in the big Lebanese Ain Hilwa refugee camp near Sidon and other camps for terrorist missions on Israel’s northern border.

The Israeli government has watched what was going on but done nothing. But US military and intelligence were concerned enough to warn Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that he had better act fast before his Fatah faction lost Ain Hilwa. This happened shortly before US Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice departed for the Middle East Quartet’s Sharm el-Sheikh meeting Sunday, Nov. 9.

Abbas reacted by sacking Sultan Abu Al Aynayn, the veteran Fatah chief for all the refugee camps in Lebanon, and appointing the Palestinian general Kemal Midhath in his stead. But our counter-terror sources strongly doubt that the new man can stem the defections of Palestinian militias from Fatah and halt Iran’s and Hizballah’s takeover of the Ain Hilwa camp – especially since, according to the latest US intelligence information, Col. Al Aynayn had already been bought.

In Gaza, Israeli forces last week pre-empted in the nick of time a Hamas cross-border kidnap operation by means of a tunnel leading under the border fence. Hizballah’s abduction of two Israeli soldiers, the late Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in July 2006 triggered a full-scale war with Israel. The tunnel was destroyed but Hamas and Jihad Islami have maintained a four-day missile barrage against Israel.

In the diplomatic arena, Saturday, Nov. 8, Hamas suddenly announced a boycott of the oft-postponed Egyptian bid. It had been finally scheduled to take place in Cairo Monday, Nov. 9, to bring Hamas and Fatah together in Cairo for a power-sharing deal to bury the hatchet after three years.

This event was also intended to demonstrate to the Middle East Quartet that Egypt was back at center stage in the Middle East and had succeeded in drawing Hamas out of the radical Iranian orbit to embrace Palestinian unity and give the Quartet’s peace effort a major boost.

But Tehran was ahead of Cairo. Last Tuesday, Hamas leaders, including Khaled Meshaal, were given their orders from the Iranian foreign minister to boycott the Cairo talks. Following his script, a smiling Meshaal told a Sky interviewer: “If the new US president wants a role in the Middle East, he has no choice but to talk to us because we are the real force on the ground.”

By Saturday, Nov. 8, therefore, with missiles already flying from Gaza, Tehran had managed to spoil the last Middle East journey to be undertaken by Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, and tip over Egypt’s Palestinian mediation bid and the prospects of Syrian-Israel talks. Still to come is a Lebanese-Israeli border flare-up - for which Tehran has already enlisted Hizballah and Lebanese Palestinian militias.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | America |

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis: Prepare for the Coming of Messiah Israel National News (October 27, 2008) - Internationally renowned Jewish inspirational speaker Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis warns that we are feeling the "birth pangs of the Mashiach," with limited time to save ourselves from dark prophecies surrounding his arrival.

In an exclusive interview on Israel National Radio's popular new show Mah Nishma with host Gavriel Sanders, Rebbetzin Jungreis, who is the founder of the successful 'Hineni' Jewish outreach organization and author of many books including the recently published 'Life is a Test: How to Handle Life's Challenges Successfully', addressed the fear that people feel as turbulent global events begin to make their mark on Jews and their allies around the world.

The birthpangs of the Messiah

"Anyone who has been just looking around and has his or her eyes open must be frightened. Things are happening that just don't make sense. Overnight, our cherished institutions, our icons, have collapsed. We don't understand it. People blame this one and that one. It's not just in the United States, it's all over the world, and we have so many natural disasters, and so much illness. What is happening?"

Rebbetzin Jungreis says G-d is bringing the world closer to redemption in a process called "chevlei Mashiach" – the labor pains of the arrival of the Messiah. "Now labor pains, you know, could be very, very painful…as the birth becomes more imminent, the pain becomes more intense, to the point where the mother can not bear it anymore, and just when she thinks she can not bear it, it's 'Mazal Tov!', and the baby is born."

'The generation of the dog'

Based on the writings of ancient Jewish sages, Jungreis concludes that this generation is replete with the signs that are prophesied to hail the coming of the Messiah, including endemic impudence, followership, idol worship, disasters, and war. "All our [sages] agree…they do not want to be present for the chevlei Mashiach, the birth pangs, because the birth pangs are going to be very painful… It's going to be a generation that will abound in chutzpah [audacity]. Chutzpah will be colossal. Families will be fragmented. Children will turn against parents, parents against children. The elderly will not be respected. Youth will be worshipped.

"… The generation will be like the generation of the dog.  What does that mean? The dog runs ahead but always looks back to see if the master is behind him. Similarly, people don't have their own opinions today. What is the media saying? The media is controlling the world…"

According to Rebbetzin Jungreis, the greatest idol worship of this generation is money, an obsession which causes the Western world to ignore the lurking danger posed by Islamist terror against Israel and the United States. "We have been very blessed, perhaps there was never in history such a wealthy Jewish generation as ours was. But there was no Hakaras HaTov, no credit to Hashem. "My strength did all this". We became arrogant, we became chutzpahdik, we forgot Hashem… Imach shemam [their names be obliterated], the sons of Ishmael, every minute it's "Allah". The sons of Esav, "the Lord," every minute. Their leadership is always speaking the name of G-d. Am Yisrael … they heard the word of Hashem panim el panim, face to face - has forgotten its G-d."

The propensity of the world to worship money is so great, says Rebbetzin Jungreis, that the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust, Iran's effort to attain a nuclear weapon, and the rise of fascist and anti-Western powers can be attributed to it. "[Following the US stock market crash in 1929] America was so absorbed, Hitler had the playground of the world at his disposal, and no one stopped him," she says. "Too late did America and the world wake up. Early thirties – no one intervened with Hitler. They were all absorbed in a financial crisis.

"Fast forward. We have a financial crisis now. Ahmadinejad has the entire world at his disposal, came to New York, made the most toxic, poisonous accusations… if you had made those accusations against Muslims they would have burned down New York City, everyone would have been apologizing. Jews? No problem. He says it, and nobody even looks up, no one looks up. And in addition to him, all the rogue nations, all the demagogues, all the new Hitlers got into the act. Russia woke up again, back to its old tricks, making treaties with Chavez of Venezuela, right here in our own hemisphere. And of course, there is always North Korea. And America is worried about the stock market."

Ahmadinejad, Islamist terror - all part of prophecy

Islamist terror, says Rebbetzin Jungreis, is also predicted in the 9th century (Gregorian calendar) Jewish work, ' Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer,' which prophesied that before the coming of Messiah in the end of days, Ishmael – who is described as a brutal, wild man – will rule the world. Rebbetzin Jungreis attributes Arab terror in Israel, the Islamization of Europe, and the welcoming of Iranian President and vocal anti-Zionist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York to the ancient prophetic writing.

"Ahmadinejad comes to New York, and he has the audacity, the chutzpah to proclaim … in public, at the UN, that it's Zionist Jews who are responsible for the financial crisis in the world, that they are manipulating the world, they're controlling the world… And guess what: The entire world is silent, no outcry, no outrage, no one says anything, and he – just for good measure – he adds that Israel is this cesspool that has to be destroyed, annihilated. No outcry, not a word."

Ahmadinejad himself has a role in the unfolding arrival of the Messiah, says Jungreis, and was also predicted to wield lethal power during the end of days. "You know it says in Yalkut Shimoni that right before Mashiach will come, during Chevlei Mashiach, the king of Persia, now what is Persia? Persia is today's Iran. The king of Persia is going to have a weapon that is going to terrorize the entire world."

'Hashem is hiding'

The current low spiritual state of the Jewish People has caused G-d to hide His face from them, says Rebbetzin Jungreis, who says this concealment is meant to provoke the Jewish People to search for Him.

"In parshas Vayelech… Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu that in the future, there will come a generation who will forget Hashem, and terrible sufferings will come upon them. And finally they will say 'you know why this is happening? Ein Eloka, G-d is not with us. G-d is not in our midst.' And then it says … " I will continue to hide My face." Dichotomous. If we admit that G-d is not with us, then why is G-d hiding? … That puts the onus of responsibility upon G-d – it's Your fault. You are not with us. We have to say 'We are not with Hashem! We are not with our Torah! We are not with our Mitzvot! We are responsible."'

Rebbetzin Jungreis says G-d's concealment is a crucial element in developing the proper relationship with Him, with the key to understanding it being found in the biblical story of Adam and Chava [Eve].

"What was the first sin of Adam and Chava?. We say that we ate from a fruit that was forbidden? No! Hashem was ready to negotiate that. The first sin was scapegoating!. 'The woman who You gave to be with me, it's her fault, she made me do it.' Not only was Adam scapegoating, he was an ingrate. And Chava, what did she say? 'It was the serpent.' And that's when Hashem said 'That's it. That's it. Out! Gan Eden is over.' And that is what we are doing. But listen to the chesed [kindness] Hashem said. 'I will hide My face.'

"When a mother goes with her toddler to the supermarket, let's say, and the toddler has a temper tantrum, and he doesn't want to go out unless he gets candy, what does the mother do? She says 'Okay, I'm leaving, you will have to stay here by yourself," and she goes away. Is she really going away? Of course not. She is keeping an eye on her baby, but she pretends to go away so the child should seek her out and run after her. So Hashem says 'I'm hiding' but if you're hiding, you want somebody to find you. There's a beautiful mashal [parable] from a Rebbe who was walking on the street and he sees a little boy crying, and he says 'why are you crying my little child?' 'I'm crying because I'm playing hide-and-seek and nobody's looking for me.'… Hashem is hiding, but He wants us to find Him. And we are not looking for Him, so what are we doing? Whose fault was it?" For part two of the article, click here.
Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog | America | Economic Crisis |

Iranian Nuke Scientist: Weekend Quake was a Nuclear Test Israel National News (October 30, 2008) - A weekend 5.0 Richter earthquake in Iran was actually a nuclear bomb test, says an Iranian nuclear scientist claiming to be working on the project. The report is an Israel Insider exclusive. This past Saturday night, southern Iran experienced what was reported as a significant earthquake - a seismic event measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was just north of the strategic Straits of Hormuz, which separates Iran from Abu Dhabi and Oman and which is the gateway to the Persian Gulf.

The report quotes an Iranian nuclear scientist who claims to be working in uranium enrichment for the project, and who said that the "quake" was actually an underground nuclear bomb test. Israel Insider adds that the test/quake was actually the second in a series. Nine days ago, a 4.8 Richter scale event occurred, with its epicenter only five kilometers away from the weekend tremor.

The Israel Insider source reports that two nuclear rockets are currently ready - and are intended for use against Israel in the coming months. If the report is correct, it would belie previous speculation that Iran would not begin nuclear testing until it had more nuclear-bomb production capability.

The geographical location of the test has several advantages. It is exposed to significant seismic activity, which could serve to mask nuclear tests; it is believed to be close to Iran's nuclear development facility; delivery and transport of material and personnel can be effected easily through the Hormuz Strait; and Iranian enemies would hesitate to bomb the area because that would threaten the flow of a substantial percentage of the world's oil.

Reuters reports Thursday morning that Iran has begun building a line of naval bases along its southern coast and up to the Straits of Hormuz.
| Iran | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Solana’s speech to Institute for Security Studies Consilium Europa (October 30, 2008) - Dear friends, Let me start our "tour d'horizon" with the financial crisis. It has been the emblematic event of 2008, putting all else into the background. It is worth analysing, especially for its consequences for foreign policy. Allow me to make some observations:

First, the diagnosis. This crisis has confirmed that globalisation remains the dominant force shaping our world. This really is a global crisis. It has spread at incredible speed. Functionally, from sub-prime mortgages to credit markets to the real economy. And geographically from the US to Europe to emerging markets. Not everyone is affected equally; but no one is immune.

In its wake, the balance between markets, states and individuals will have to be adjusted. But globalisation itself - that is the global spread of goods, people, ideas and technology - will not stop. The crisis has highlighted globalisation's central dilemma. Today's big problems are global in nature. But the main resources and legitimacy are located at the national level. In a way, European integration is an attempt to resolve this core dilemma.

Regarding, the policy response, the crisis has demonstrated - once more - the need for stronger global institutions. With goodwill and creativity a lot can and has been achieved. Through ad-hoc crisis management among political leaders, central bankers and others. But if we are honest we must admit that the existing architecture is not up to the task - neither in Europe, nor globally.

I have been convinced, for some time, and I have underlined that in different fora, that the current international system is inadequate. Now the case for deep reform has become overwhelming. This must start with the international financial institutions. But we need to go further.

From the UN and the G8 to the regimes and institutions dealing with the big issues of our time: nonproliferation, energy and climate change, migration. Hopefully, the obvious need to deepen cooperation in the area of finance will act as a catalyst for these necessary wider reforms.

In any case, this effort cannot be handed by the US plus Europe alone. Even the talk of us "leading" is misleading. Apart from changing formats, the mindset needs changing too. We better not see this as the Western powers inviting the others for coffee after our discussions. We need all relevant players "present at the creation" of the new system, to use Acheson's famous phrase. And we need to be ready to engage them seriously. Read the full story...

| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | 1st Seal | America | Economic Crisis |

Mideast: Putting the 'Peace Puzzle' Together CBN News (October 28, 2008) - As U.S. presidential hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama begin the last week of campaigning before next Tuesday's election, events shaping up in Israel, Syria and the Palestinian Authority will no doubt factor into the winning candidate's challenges in the White House.

Syrian officials continue to express their outrage over a U.S. military attack on Sunday, which killed eight people. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, who accused America of "terrorist aggression," said his country has a right to respond in kind against the U.S. "The Americans did it in the daylight," Moallem said during a visit to London Monday. "This means it is not a mistake. Therefore, we are treating the matter as a crime and a terrorist act," he said.

While Syria claims the raid targeted civilians at a building construction site near the border with Iraq, the U.S. said the helicopter attack targeted the home of Abu Ghadiyah, the known head of a terrorist network funneling gunmen, weapons and cash across the border to bolster the insurgency against the Iraqi government. According to U.S. intelligence sources, Abu Ghadiyah is one of four senior al-Qaeda officials in Iraq who makes his home in Syria. The successful raid will have a "debilitating impact" on the terror group's smuggling network, one U.S. official said. It was the first U.S. military attack on Syrian soil since 2003, when U.S. troops invaded Iraq, evidence that the Syrian border remains a battleground. "We're taking matters into our own hands," one U.S. government official said, alluding to Syria turning a blind eye to terrorist activity.

Al-Qaeda is not the only Islamic terrorist group with ties to Syria. For years, Syria has facilitated Iranian weapons transfers to Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorists across its border.

Syria's Ties with Hezbollah

On Sunday, Israeli Military Intelligence chief Major General Amos Yadlin briefed Cabinet ministers on Syria's ties with Hezbollah. "Assad currently trusts Hezbollah more than his own army," Yadlin said. "Hezbollah operatives are working from within Syria. The Syrians are loosing all restraints, Hezbollah access to almost all of their strategic capabilities," he said. "Currently, Assad is continuing to open up its warehouses to Hezbollah," Yadlin said, "turning into the arms granary" for the terror group.

According to Yadlin, Syria and Lebanon's recently renewed diplomatic ties are a cover up for a future takeover of the country. "Syria and Iran are buying the regime in Lebanon," he said. " are pouring substantial money into buying parliamentary representatives and into conducting dubious business deals," he said. "The Iranian offer to assist in the building of the Lebanese army is an and Hezbollah guise to take control of Lebanon," he said.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Meanwhile, despite Israeli President Shimon Peres' claim that Israel has never been closer to peace with its Arab neighbors, a look below the surface at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict tells a different story. PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that Egyptian efforts to reconcile Fatah and Hamas are bearing fruit.

Abbas plans to travel to Saudi Arabia soon to relay his most recent discussions with Egyptian President Hosni Murbarak. "We have agreed with our Egyptian brothers on a program for national reconciliation," Abbas said. "Our brothers in Egypt will later publish the details. I want to stress that all the PLO factions have accepted the Egyptian program, which we fully support," he said.

Abbas also expressed pleasure with Peres' public support for the Saudi peace initiative, which he called an Islamic proposal - rather than an Arab proposal - because it is endorsed by so many Islamic countries. The plan calls for Israel to retreat to pre-1967 borders in exchange for "normalization" with Arab League member nations.

Hamas was less enthusiastic with Abbas's announcement. "President Abbas must reach an agreement with Hamas, not with the Egyptians," Hamas legislator Salah Bardaweel said. "Egypt is not a party to the conflict but a mediator. Abbas's confrontation is with Hamas. If he wants to end the conflict, he must reach an agreement with Hamas," he said.

"We don't believe that Abbas will have the courage to talk with Hamas because of Israeli and American pressure," Bardaweel said. "He is also surrounded by some advisors who won't even permit him to mention the name Hamas. That's why he's talking about agreement with Egypt and not Hamas," he said.

Meanwhile, Hamas said Israel's going to early elections shows that the peace process has failed. "Now the Israelis will use the elections as an excuse not to make any concessions to Mahmoud Abbas," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. "They will claim they are too busy with the elections over the next few months." "This proves that Hamas was right when it said that the so-called peace process was a waste of time and that there's no point in negotiating with the occupation ," he said.

Despite claims by outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and others of like ilk, a closer look at Syrian, Palestinian and Arab League member nations shows that peace between Israel and her neighbors remains illusory. With Iran arming Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria to the hilt, genuine peace is far from reality on the ground.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Obama and Ahmadinejad Forbes (October 26, 2008) - Is Barack Obama the "promised warrior" coming to help the Hidden Imam of Shiite Muslims conquer the world? The question has made the rounds in Iran since last month, when a pro-government Web site published a Hadith (or tradition) from a Shiite text of the 17th century. The tradition comes from Bahar al-Anvar (meaning Oceans of Light) by Mullah Majlisi, a magnum opus in 132 volumes and the basis of modern Shiite Islam.

According to the tradition, Imam Ali Ibn Abi-Talib (the prophet's cousin and son-in-law) prophesied that at the End of Times and just before the return of the Mahdi, the Ultimate Saviour, a "tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West." Commanding "the strongest army on earth," the new ruler in the West will carry "a clear sign" from the third imam, whose name was Hussein Ibn Ali. The tradition concludes: "Shiites should have no doubt that he is with us."

In a curious coincidence Obama's first and second names--Barack Hussein--mean "the blessing of Hussein" in Arabic and Persian. His family name, Obama, written in the Persian alphabet, reads O Ba Ma, which means "he is with us," the magic formula in Majlisi's tradition.

Mystical reasons aside, the Khomeinist establishment sees Obama's rise as another sign of the West's decline and the triumph of Islam. Obama's promise to seek unconditional talks with the Islamic Republic is cited as a sign that the U.S. is ready to admit defeat. Obama's position could mean abandoning three resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council setting conditions that Iran should meet to avoid sanctions. Seeking unconditional talks with the Khomeinists also means an admission of moral equivalence between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic. It would imply an end to the description by the U.S. of the regime as a "systematic violator of human rights."

Obama has abandoned claims by all U.S. administrations in the past 30 years that Iran is "a state sponsor of terrorism." Instead, he uses the term "violent groups" to describe Iran-financed outfits such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

Obama has also promised to attend a summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference within the first 100 days of his presidency. Such a move would please the mullahs, who have always demanded that Islam be treated differently, and that Muslim nations act as a bloc in dealings with Infidel nations.

Obama's election would boost President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chances of winning a second term next June. Ahmadinejad's entourage claim that his "steadfastness in resisting the American Great Satan" was a factor in helping Obama defeat "hardliners" such as Hillary Clinton and, later, it hopes, John McCain.

"President Ahmadinejad has taught Americans a lesson," says Hassan Abbasi, a "strategic adviser" to the Iranian president. "This is why they are now choosing someone who understands Iran's power." The Iranian leader's entourage also point out that Obama copied his campaign slogan "Yes, We Can" from Ahmadinejad's "We Can," used four years ago.

A number of Khomeinist officials have indicated their preference for Obama over McCain, who is regarded as an "enemy of Islam." A Foreign Ministry spokesman says Iran does not wish to dictate the choice of the Americans but finds Obama "a better choice for everyone." Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Islamic Majlis, Iran's ersatz parliament, has gone further by saying the Islamic Republic "prefers to see Barack Obama in the White House" next year.

Tehran's penchant for Obama, reflected in the official media, increased when the Illinois senator chose Joseph Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. Biden was an early supporter of the Khomeinist revolution in 1978-1979 and, for the past 30 years, has been a consistent advocate of recognizing the Islamic Republic as a regional power. He has close ties with Khomeinist lobbyists in the U.S. and has always voted against sanctions on Iran.

Ahmadinejad has described the U.S. as a "sunset" (ofuli) power as opposed to Islam, which he says is a "sunrise" (toluee) power. Last summer, he inaugurated an international conference called World Without America--attended by anti-Americans from all over the world, including the U.S.

Seen from Tehran, Obama's election would demoralize the U.S. armed forces by casting doubt on their victories in Iraq and Afghanistan, if not actually transforming them into defeat. American retreat from the Middle East under Obama would enable the Islamic Republic to pursue hegemony of the region. Tehran is especially interested in dominating Iraq, thus consolidating a new position that extends its power to the Mediterranean through Syria and Lebanon.

During the World Without America conference, several speakers speculated that Obama would show "understanding of Muslim grievances" with regard to Palestine. Ahmadinejad hopes to persuade a future President Obama to adopt the "Iranian solution for Palestine," which aims at creating a single state in which Jews would quickly become a minority.

Judging by anecdotal evidence and the buzz among Iranian bloggers, while the ruling Khomeinists favor Obama, the mass of Iranians regard (and dislike) the Democrat candidate as an appeaser of the mullahs. Iran, along with Israel, is the only country in the Middle East where the United States remains popular. An Obama presidency, perceived as friendly to the oppressive regime in Tehran, may change that.
| Iran | Islam |

This is interesting in light of my study of the False Prophet of scripture and my belief that he will be the 12th Imam. This is also interesting in light of past comments by Ahmadinejad regarding Jesus coming with the 12th Imam.

In a greeting to the world's Christians for the coming new year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he expects both Jesus and the Shiite messianic figure, Imam Mahdi, to return and "wipe away oppression."

"I wish all the Christians a very happy new year and I wish to ask them a question as well," said Ahmadinejad, according to an Iranian Student News Agency report cited by

"My one question from the Christians is: What would Jesus do if he were present in the world today? What would he do before some of the oppressive powers of the world who are in fact residing in Christian countries? Which powers would he revive and which of them would he destroy?" asked the Iranian leader. "If Jesus were present today, who would be facing him and who would be following him?"

Ahmadinejad then made a connection between Jesus and the Imam Mahdi, believed by Shiites to have disappeared as a child in A.D. 941. When the Mahdi returns, they contend, he will reign on earth for seven years before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.

"All I want to say is that the age of hardship, threat and spite will come to an end someday and, God willing, Jesus would return to the world along with the emergence of the descendant of the Islam's holy prophet, Imam Mahdi, and wipe away every tinge of oppression, pain and agony from the face of the world," Ahmadinejad said.

According to scripture (Revelation 13) there is a false Christ, an antichrist, who is the man of sin. He will present himself as the savior of humanity that should be worshipped, although I don't think he will actually claim to be Jesus. I think that the New Agey idea of "Christ consciousness" will be used instead and through his policies, an appearance of peace will be created...for those who accept him and participate. I believe that the 12th Mahdi/Imam may be that beast from the earth (comes up from a well) and the political head of the Revived Roman Empire in the West is the beast from the sea. Keep watching.

Security & Defense: 'We're in the midst of preparing the home front for war' The Jerusalem Post (October 16, 2008) - According to Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, the country is in one of the most complicated and dangerous periods of its history. And though he does not believe that Israel can be "wiped off the map," in spite of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threats, he is increasingly concerned about the current political instability here, which he blames for delays in projects he deems essential, such as the revamping of the Home Front.

This week, as Israel marked the 35th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War - reviewing lessons learned from it - Vilnai gave The Jerusalem Post a lengthy interview, during which he covered a wide range of topics, from Labor's coalition talks with Kadima, to how Hizbullah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is a target, to the danger of holding public demonstrations calling for the release of Gilad Schalit.

The former deputy chief of General Staff and deputy commander of the elite commando unit, Sayeret Matkal, says that the IDF is at a most critical juncture. It is the only military in the world, he explains, that needs to be ready at any given moment to fight a guerrilla war in Lebanon, a terror war in the West Bank and a conventional war with Syria, and confront a possible existential threat from Iran.

Since taking up his post just over a year ago, Vilnai, 64, has been immersed in establishing the National Emergency Administration (NEA), which he founded to coordinate among all of the various emergency services, in the event of a missile onslaught. This is necessary, he says, because one of the problems encountered during the Second Lebanon War was that the cabinet had to meet several times to discuss how to get food to shelters in the North. But "the cabinet needs to run the war."

How do you view Israel's current strategic position in the Middle East?
There are existential threats today coming from farther away. The additional complication when dealing with Islamic radical terror is that the war is not just against terrorists, but against a population. In Gaza, you can hit Hamas, but it does not hurt Hamas, since the people there support Hamas. This is the same in Lebanon, where the civilian population supports Hizbullah. This makes the conflict much more complicated. As a result, what is needed is a combined military-diplomatic solution, as well as alliances with other countries.

Is there still a conventional threat?
It exists, and we need to prepare for it, so we can retain capabilities required for war with Syria, like on Yom Kippur exactly 35 years ago. We also need to retain the ability to fight Hizbullah and Iran over the horizon. Today, we need to know how to do different things [simultaneously], and this is difficult challenge. I can't remember such a complicated period in my 40 years in the defense establishment.

What poses the greatest threat?
The state of Israel. Establishing a new government is necessary for stability. The fact that the government changes every two years weakens us. A ministry that starts everything from scratch every two years cannot get anything done.

Are there ongoing processes in the Defense Ministry that will be harmed in the event that general elections are held now?
The change in regime harms and weakens us, and I believe it is of the utmost importance to continue with the same government today.

We are in the midst of preparing the home front for war and this is something that the government has spoken about for decades, but never dealt with or regulated properly. If we change the leadership of the Defense Ministry, I don't know what will happen. If we don't continue what we have been doing here for another two years, it will all go to waste.

What, for example?
The NEA and the annual home front exercises we started. I fear that if we aren't here, everything will go back to the way it was in the beginning. We need continuity.

What is the concept behind the NEA?
The responsibility for the home front has always been in the hands of the municipalities or the local and regional councils, but for years they shirked this responsibility. The concept behind the NEA is for the government offices and services to assist them. The IDF, Israel Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Magen David Adom, the Interior, Welfare and Health ministries will all work for the mayors and regional council heads to make sure that life continues, even during wartime.

The cabinet does not need to meet to discuss food distribution to bomb shelters. A mayor with the right assistance can do this on his or her own.

What will the next war look like?
The home front will be the main front of the war, whether it is missiles from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria or Iran.

Can there really be peace with Syria?
We need to break the axis of evil. It can be broken militarily, but the talks with Syria are meant to do this as well. Syria needs to cut off its ties with Iran. This is our condition, and this is the most important element. But it is not something that will happen immediately.

We saw other Syrian intentions with the nuclear facility that the air force destroyed last September.
I don't know what type of facility you are taking about, but that is why I said we need both elements - military and diplomatic. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Top Iran officials recommend preemptive strike against Israel Haaretz (October 22, 2008) - Senior Tehran officials are recommending a preemptive strike against Israel to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear reactors, a senior Islamic Republic official told foreign diplomats two weeks ago in London. The official, Dr. Seyed G. Safavi, said recent threats by Israeli authorities strengthened this position, but that as of yet, a preemptive strike has not been integrated into Iranian policy.

Safavi is head of the Research Institute of Strategic Studies in Tehran, and an adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The institute is directly affiliated with Khamenei's office and with the Revolutionary Guards, and advises both on foreign policy issues. Safavi is also the brother of Yahya Rahim Safavi, who was the head of the Revolutionary Guards until a year ago and now is an adviser to Khamenei, and holds significant influence on security matters in the Iranian government.

An Israeli political official said senior Jerusalem officials were shown Safavi's remarks, which are considered highly sensitive. The source said the briefing in London dealt with a number of issues, primarily a potential Israeli attack on an Iranian reactor.

Safavi said a small, experienced group of officials is lobbying for a preemptive strike against Israel. "The recent Israeli declarations and harsh rhetoric on a strike against Iran put ammunition in these individuals' hands," he said. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said in June that Israel would be forced to strike the Iranian nuclear reactor if Tehran continues to pursue its uranium enrichment program.

Safavi said Tehran recently drafted a new policy for responding to an Israeli or American attack on its nuclear facilities. While the previous policy called for attacks against Israel and American interests in the Middle East and beyond, the new policy is to target Israel alone. He added that many Revolutionary Guard leaders want to respond to a U.S. attack on Iranian soil by striking Israel, as they believe Israel would be partner to any U.S. action.

Safavi said that Iran's nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes only, and that Khamenei recently released a fatwa against the use of weapons of mass destruction, though the contents of that religious ruling have not yet been publicized. Regarding dialogue with the United States and the West, Safavi said Iran's decision would be influenced by the results of the U.S. presidential elections next month, as well as by the Iranian presidential elections in June and the economic situation in the Islamic Republic.

Safavi also said that a victory by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama would pave the way for dialogue with Washington, while a John McCain presidency would bolster Iran's extreme right, which opposes dialogue. If conditions are favorable following the U.S. election, he said, Iran could draw back from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that "the nuclear case is closed," and put it back on the agenda.

Safavi said he believed that U.S. sanctions on Iran have run their course, and that there would be no point in strengthening them. Tehran would therefore demand "firm and significant" U.S. measures in return for stopping uranium enrichment. He also said Ahmadinejad is not guaranteed victory in the June 2009 elections, particularly given the dire economic situation in Iran. Still, Iranian experts believe his only real competition is former president Mohammad Khatami, who has not yet joined the race.

Safavi said the inflation rate in Iran is similar to that before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but that unrest among civilians today is not as strong. This is because the current government uses oil revenues to help the poor, he said.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog | America |

Post-'excellent' speech euphoria at the UN The Jerusalem Post (October 22, 2008) - Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, the 75-year-old Nicaraguan Catholic priest, winner of the International Lenin Peace Prize and newly elected president since September 16 of the UN General Assembly for the current session, is not just a "fan of plain words," he is also a fan of heroic deeds. On September 23, we were witnesses to a 21st-century chamber of horrors at the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly, when he said: "On behalf of the General Assembly, I wish to thank his excellency the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and request the representatives to remain seated while I greet the president."

Brockmann, who personally thanked "his excellency," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his "excellent" speech, which was dripping with anti-Zionism and hate, interrupted the session and rushed down the stairs to warmly, even enthusiastically, hug and kiss Ahmadinejad. Everyone in the hall clapped and cheered - and here in Europe and everywhere there is dead silence about it.

The Rheinische Post reported on it, days later, on September 27: "Steinmeier chastizes Iran," according to which the German foreign minister accused the Iranian president of "pure anti-Semitism" because of his speech. But not a word was uttered about the behavior of the "wannabe humanist," the president of the UN General Assembly on September 23.

Once you look more closely into the personal background of Brockmann, you aren't at all surprised at such heroism. As the "son of a wealthy career diplomat who served during the Somoza dictatorship," he is a Nicaraguan socialist with US citizenship. He wandered since his birth in Los Angeles back and forth "between luxury and revolution," and "as one of the few remaining companions he is still a close friend, political consultant and father confessor to [Sandinista leader Daniel] Ortega."

So he developed an enormous need for altruism and charity, which he demonstrated on September 23, 2008 in New York. That is why he is also working to reform the UN Security Council. Brockmann is pushing for a "democratization" of the organization, a kind of "Durban 2," the conference that will meet in Geneva on April 4, 2009 to install another 21st-century chamber of horrors. Read full story...

| Iran | Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Russian envoy: Tehran-Moscow ties in an unprecedented stage Islamic Republic News Agency (October 16, 2008) - Russian Ambassador to Tehran Alexander Sadonikov said here Wednesday that Iran-Russia relations are now in an unprecedented stage and mutual cooperation in the oil and gas sectors will get a boost in the near future. "Now, there are good and growing cooperation between the two countries in different economic and industrial sectors, an instance of which being Bushehr atomic power plant," Sadonikov told IRNA on the sidelines of his tour of the Teachers Training Center of Iran's technical and Vocational Organization. He said Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan have launched good cooperation in transportation sector, especially in the Caspian Sea, which will also be in favor of Europe and the region. He lauded Iran's progress in setting up such a big and developed center for technical and vocational purposes.
| Iran | Gog/Magog |

Swords and Shields: Russia shields Syria Space War (October 16, 2008) - Until Russia can revitalize its naval forces to a much larger degree, its deployments to the Mediterranean contribute more to symbolic and diplomatic activity than being a viable military counterweight to NATO in the region. Yet the Black Sea Fleet in the Med is a significant show of force and a diplomatic irritant and a potential threat to shipping in the Suez Canal and to America's ally Israel. The increased Russian naval presence in the region means that the Kremlin is seeking to cultivate Syria as a close regional ally, and is looking to secure additional bases for the Black Sea Fleet besides its current base in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol.
In addition, Russia would also be able to deploy electronic intelligence-gathering ships that could then improve its monitoring capabilities against NATO forces and Syria's ability to monitor NATO and Israeli transmissions, expanding the previous naval intelligence engagement during the Balkan wars. Finally, Russian naval forces could deter or disrupt Israeli naval or air assets deployed in wartime against Syria or Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Syria is pursuing new arms deals with Russia, including the purchase of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 M2, MiG-31, the latest Sukhoi Su-30 version -- Flanker, Tor-M1 air defense systems, AT-14 antitank missiles, upgrades for Syria's aging T-62, T-72 and T-80 Main Battle Tanks, SA-5 Gammon anti-aircraft missile systems, and upgrading Syria's existing S-125 Air Defense systems to the Pechora-2A.

Iran is also involved in supporting Damascus. In 2007 alone Iran reportedly financed Syrian purchases of Russian arms to the tune of $1 billion. Iran and Syria, which have had a mutual defense treaty since 2004, train and equip Hezbollah, the biggest terrorist organization in the Middle East. Russia is cultivating both states as allies and as customers for Russian arms. What is particularly disturbing is that the Russian layered air defenses, both short-range TOR and long-range S-300 anti-aircraft systems, are capable of providing the defensive envelope to the mysterious Syrian nuclear research activities, as well as to the significant chemical weapons arsenal deliverable by Damascus' short-range ballistic missiles, such as Syrian-produced SCUD-C and SCUD-D and, potentially, Russian-made Iskander-E -- NATO designation SS-X-26.

Damascus has also acquired Pantsir-C1 air defense systems, which represent the current state of the art in Russian military air defense technology, but no deal has yet been reached. According to sources in Moscow, Russia is likely to equip Syria's Tartus naval base with S-300PMU-2 Favorit ballistic missiles and a radar system more sophisticated than Syria's current capabilities.

During the Cold War era, the Soviet Union boasted a global naval power projection capability with yearly naval maneuvers in the Caribbean and the North Fleet naval brigade in Conakry, Guinea, and Luanda, Angola. The 8th Operational Squadron of the Pacific Fleet had supply bases in Aden and Socotra in Yemen and Dahlak in Eritrea, and in Berbera in Somalia. After the five-day Aug. 8-Aug. 12 war in the former Soviet republic of Georgia in the Caucasus, the Russian Black Sea Fleet is planning to deploy in Abkhazia, at the ports of Ochamchira and Sukhumi. For Moscow today, Tartus is only the first step in the long road to a renewed global naval presence.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Jalili's letter to Solana circulated as UN Security Council document Tehran Times (October 12, 2008) - Iran's letter to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and foreign ministers of the 5+1 group has been circulated as the UN Security Council's document.

Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili forwarded a letter to Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy/ Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union and Representative of the six countries on Tuesday, complaining that the Group is looking at nuclear talks with Iran as merely a tactical tool.

""In view of the Geneva Talks and the emphasis of both sides on presenting a clear response to each other, the Islamic Republic of Iran in its letter of 5 August 2008 expressed its readiness to offer transparent response vis-à-vis reciting clear replies to its questions,"" Jalili said in his letter to Solana.

It is interesting for the international community to see that in the course of talks when a rational question is raised, the other party to the talks resorts to levers of pressure instead of offering answers to questions and trying to remove ambiguities, Jalili said, adding that in the judgment of the world community, this unreasonable behavior is an indication of the lack of a clear response to the principled questions of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The absence of civilized tradition of ""dialogue"" among certain powers that prefer to use levers of pressure instead of reasoning is not a matter that is unknown to the world community, he said.
| Iran | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder |

America bad, Europe good is what I see here from Iran.

Iceland turns to Russia for bailout RIA Novosti (October 10, 2008) - Russia has agreed to bail out Iceland by granting this small island state a huge stabilization loan at an unbelievably low interest rate. Is it an act of wanton generosity, or a far-sighted geopolitical step? And in general, four billion euros, is it a lot or a little? The fate of Iceland has until recently not concerned Russia one bit. Now only a lazy person is not discussing the incredible sum the "island of stability" is going to inject into the economy of a sinking island of geysers.

Europe has meanwhile been discussing Iceland for a long time. Hedge-fund country, an example of liberal economic regulation and a model of a rapidly developing economy, Iceland was the first in the world to feel the impact of a full-bodied economic crisis. This happened at the end of 2007. Since this year began, Iceland's currency - the krona - has lost one-third of its value against the euro. Iceland's leading banks - Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki - have been marauded by international financial sharks. At the end of September, the country's authorities bought out (read, nationalized) Glitnir bank, and on October 7 Landsbanki, while on the same day Kaupthing bank received a 500 million euro loan from Iceland's National Bank. By the autumn of 2008 it had become clear Iceland might become the world's first country to suffer a default.

Why is the bubble of Iceland's economy bursting so loudly? It ballooned too rapidly, the IMF believes. In 2003-2007, the country's GDP had risen by 25%, with this robust growth fed mainly by outside borrowing. To attract foreign investments, the authorities strengthened the currency and ratcheted up interest rates (by the beginning of 2008, they were the highest in Europe - 15.5% per annum). The result was a monstrous misbalance: a modest GDP, on the one hand, and immense financial assets and tremendous liabilities, on the other. According to 2007 figures, Iceland's GDP was $16 billion, while its financial assets stood at 1,000% of GDP and an external debt of 550% of GDP.

With Iceland teetering on the brink of default, Russia's stabilization loan of four billion euros is a lifebelt, and a very sizeable one (on the evening of October 7, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin acknowledged Russia's readiness to pay, although previously he had denied such claims by Iceland's National Bank). Judge for yourself: when, in May 2008, Iceland was drowning, the central banks of three Scandinavian countries - Sweden, Denmark and Norway - set up a special $2.3 billion rescue fund for Iceland. Now Russia alone is ready to fork over two and a half times as much for the same purpose. In other words, four billion euros by Iceland's standards is substantial.

In Russian eyes, it is a vast sum, too. And one pledged at a very fair rate. To judge from a release issued by Iceland's National Bank, Russia promised it at LIBOR+(0.3-0.5)%. This compares with LIBOR+1% at which the Russian Central Bank wants to offer loans to Russia's Vnesheconombank. At a time when Russian authorities hold crisis emergency meetings almost daily, this looks strange, to say the least. The man in the street would say this is no time for liberal loans when one's own existence is at stake. This man's response would not be quite right, in my opinion. Read full story...

There are several reasons why Russia should agree to issue the loan to Iceland. The first and overwhelming one is geo-economic.  Leaders in many countries are gradually beginning to understand that a world caught in the maelstrom of a financial crisis could be saved only by cooperative efforts. This was a theme running through a three-day world policy conference in Evian; it will certainly be taken up at an annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

WB chief Robert Zoellick only recently proposed that the G8 also include BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Mexico, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. World leaders more and more often speak of the need to shelve personal ambitions, put away political squabbles and do something.

To come to the aid of Iceland at such a time has been for Russia a decision prompted by stark necessity. Russia has a rich war chest of windfall oil money. By the end of September, its Central Bank had $566 billion in international reserves, and $32-plus billion in the National Welfare Fund and the Reserve Fund. Of course, Russia could sit it out on its "island of stability" and fight the crisis within its four walls. But in this case Russia risks suddenly discovering that the global financial storm whipped up even further by Iceland's hurricane has wiped out all its stockpiled reserves.

Most of Iceland's lenders are European banks. Should Iceland declare a default, the whole of Europe would go into a spin, and would drag Russia after it, which now has a chance to scrape its way out of the crisis the cheap way. It emerges that by saving Iceland, Russia is saving itself first.

Other considerations are less global and more pragmatic. Crises come and go, but allies (sometimes) remain. Iceland, a rapidly developing economy and a happy hunting ground for businessmen from many European countries, is certain to remember this gesture and take more kindly to Russian investments in the future. So far, Russia-Iceland trade has been $100 million per year. And it was only shortly before the crisis that Russian business (represented by Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska) began exploring the country's investment possibilities. Now the price for entering Iceland's economy could prove very low. Besides, it makes a good staging post for flights to Latin America.

| Iran | Gog/Magog | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America | Economic Crisis |

Proverbs 22:7
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

This principle is how I believe the world will be forced into a global fix for the economic failures by those who are the lenders. Perhaps the servants will be offered a clean slate in exchange for participation in the new system. I wouldn't be surprised because ultimately the spirit behind this is not worried about making money, but pulling souls away from their Creator and according to scripture, those who accept the terms of the new cashless system that relies on a mark make not only an immediate decision, but one that affects their eternity.

Revelation 14:9-11
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

It seems to me the house of cards is falling and everything that they try to do in order to prop it back up fails to do anything to stop it. How close are we to being indentured servants as a nation who will be offered a new financial system as a way out? I don't know for sure, but there are already globalization talks going on for the financial system: Foreign economists urge 'global plan'

Syria rebuffs nuclear inspectors BBC News (October 3, 2008) - The head of Syria's nuclear programme has said that the country's military sites will remain off-limits to international nuclear inspectors. Damascus said it would co-operate with an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inquiry only if it did not threaten its national security. The watchdog is investigating claims of a secret Syrian nuclear programme. Syria's announcement comes after it dropped a bid to win a place on the board of the IAEA.

The IAEA investigation follows US allegations that Damascus was close to completing a nuclear reactor at a secret location, which was bombed by Israel last year. Syria has denied the allegations as "ridiculous". Ibrahim Othman told the IAEA that his government was "co-operating with the agency in full transparency". "However, this co-operation will not be in any way at the expense of disclosing our military sites or causing a threat to our national security," he added.

'Good co-operation'

Damascus allowed IAEA inspectors to visit the site at al-Kibar in June but has refused any follow-up trips. On Friday, Syria dropped its bid for a place on the IAEA board, leaving the post open to Western-backed Afghanistan. Both had been vying for the same seat on the board, representing the Middle East and South Asia (Mesa) group.

The body had been facing a divisive and unprecedented vote on the issue. IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei said Syria's co-operation had been "good", but it needed to show "maximum co-operation" for the agency to draw any conclusions.

A Syrian officer reported to have been in charge of facilitating the IAEA probe was killed in unexplained circumstances last summer, further delaying the proceedings. On Wednesday Iran, also accused by some countries of clandestine nuclear activity, dropped its bid for a seat on the IAEA board, saying it wanted to make way for regional ally Syria to join instead.
| Iran | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America |

Hamas plotting West Bank takeover in early 2009 World Tribune (September 24, 2008) - The Palestinian Authority has opted for a holding pattern rather than developing a strategy to block the opposition Hamas movement from seizing power in the West Bank. PA security sources said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to respond to appeals by senior officers to implement a range of measures to protect the Fatah-aligned regime from Hamas threats.

"Abu Mazen [Abbas] is scared of Hamas," a senior source said. "He does not want to provoke Hamas." The PA has assessed that Hamas could not topple the Abbas regime. Senior officials said that unlike the Gaza Strip, Hamas does not have sufficient forces to sustain a rebellion in the West Bank, Middle East Newsline reported.

"Hamas does not have real power in the West Bank and Israel is exaggerating its strength," PA National Security Force commander Maj. Gen. Diyab Al Ali said. "We are ready to control the West Bank cities and maintain security if Israel withdraws from them and this will make it easier for us to obtain our demands from Israel."

But security sources said Hamas could destabilize the PA to the point where senior officials either flee the West Bank or stay home. The sources said this could include Abbas, who has often threatened to quit. The sources said Hamas has been working with Iran and Syria in a campaign to undermine the Abbas regime in 2009. They said the Hamas effort was being planned in the Gaza Strip by military chief Ahmed Jaabari.

In 2008, the PA arrested about 400 Hamas members in the West Bank and closed four Hamas charities. All but about 120 have been released. On Sept. 22, PA forces raided the Hebron office of a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, identified as Samira Al Halayka,. Hebron has been the latest target of a PA crackdown on Hamas. The sources said Hamas was believed to have organized assassination and sabotage squads that could attack the PA after January 2009, when Abbas's term was scheduled to end. Abbas was said to have agreed to a U.S. request to remain in power after January.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Syria poised to invade Lebanon WorldNet Daily (September 24, 2008) - New concerns are being raised by the possibility that Syria may launch troops into Lebanon by using a pretext of concern over assaults on a Lebanese faction sympathetic to the Syrian leadership, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. Confirmed reports reveal that there are some 10,000 Syrian special forces troops massed on the northern border of Lebanon. A small Alawite faction near the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, has been in repeated gun fights with Sunni militants. The area's majority population is Sunni. The Alawites are of the same tribe as Syrian President Bashar Assad. Most of Syria's top security and military officials also are Alawite.

The concern is that Syria forcibly would annex the northern part of Lebanon to protect the Alawites, an offshoot of Shia Islam which is associated closely with the Syrian-supported Shiite Hezbollah. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been fighting the Sunnis in support of the Alawite minority in northern Lebanon. The Alawites in Lebanon became influential while Syrian troops occupied Lebanon until 2005. The Syrian troops left following the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The Syrian opposition, led by Hariri's son, Saad Hariri, places the blame of the father's assassination on the Syrian regime. The investigation to determine responsibility for Hariri's assassination still is under way. Saad Hariri heads the Sunni group that is fighting with the Alawites in Tripoli. In early September, Hariri, who heads the Sunni Future Movement in Lebanon, recently held talks with the head of the Alawite faction, Ali Eid. Eid is pro-Syrian while Hariri's Future Movement heads the anti-Syrian movement in Lebanon.

Tensions in Tripoli, however, have precluded any return to political stability in Lebanon despite efforts last May by Qatar to end a long power struggle between Hariri's anti-Syrian coalition and the pro-Syrian Hezbollah. The 10,000 Syrian special forces troops massed on the Syrian-Lebanese border are in positions on the northern Lebanese border in the hills overlooking the El-Kabir River, which forms the northern boundary of the two countries.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Syrian Tripwire For WWIII Op Ed News - Lord Stirling (September 19, 2008) - Russian Rear Admiral Andrei Baranov has disclosed that 10 Russian warships are already anchored at the Syrian port of Tartus. Russian engineering crews are widening and dredging the port to accommodate additional Russian warships. The Russians are making clear their intentions of using the large Russian naval presence in Tartus as a deterrent to Israeli air strikes against Syria using the powerful anti-air missiles on-board the Russian naval warships. These missile systems can sweep the sky over most of Syria and knock down Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighters.

This changes the balance of power in the air over Syria. This also places a tripwire for World War III in place in the Middle East. Any attack on Iran will also involve a war with Syria and Lebanon. This will now involve Russian military forces in direct support of the Iranian/Syrian alliance. Russia is a major nuclear power with the power to destroy every American and NATO city. George Bush has just agreed to sell Israel 1,000 very advanced American bunker buster bombs for use in the coming war with Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Could these Russian warships assist in getting men and materiel from the North through Lebanon into the mountains of Israel? They certainly seem to be preparing for plenty of Russian ships to be there for something. What Lord Stirling calls WWIII, I believe will be cut short when God destroys the attackers in the mountains of Israel. This doesn't mean that elsewhere around the world there won't be issues. Remember that the second seal is men killing each other and the third is an apparent economic collapse. If you've just joined the newsletter, you can see where I think this is leading here and here. We could be seeing the unfolding of events that will lead to Israel rebuilding the temple and the coming abomination of desolation.

Bush Agrees to War on Iran Op Ed News - Lord Stirling (September 17, 2008) - The United States has agreed to sell to Israel 1,000 of the very advanced bunker buster GBU-39 bombs. This is a major development as the Bush Administration had denied previous recent Israeli requests for large numbers of this weapon system. The GBU-39 has a stand off range of 110 km and uses pop-out wings with extremely accurate fire and forget technology. It is capable of penetrating 90 cm of steel reinforced concrete. This indicates that the Israeli Government has succeeded in its request that America allow it to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. The GBU-39s will be used extensively in attacks on Iranian targets, as well as on Syrian and Hezbollah high value targets in both Syria and Lebanon.

The Israeli political landscape is about to change. I have been expecting former Israeli Prime Minister, and super war hawk, Benyamin Netanyahu to make a well timed major move. Current Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is about to resign due to his ongoing criminal troubles. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz are in a tight battle to win the vote on Wednesday as Kadima Party Chairman, with the right to attempt to form a new government. However, it appears that Bibi Netanyahu has put together a deal with Labor Party leader, former PM and current Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and the ultra-religious Shas Party to form a government with Bibi as Prime Minister in a few days time. Count on Bibi Netanyahu lighting a blowtorch in the dry kindling that is the Middle East.

There is a real technical question if the GBU-39 can destroy all of the key known or suspected Iranian nuclear sites, as well as key military sites in Lebanon and Syria. The hardest sites are very well protected. Some experts think that several dozen to a hundred plus GBU-39s targeted at the same spot can take out even the deepest/most harden site; others say that a micro or mini nuke will be required.

The Israeli and American war planners may be counting on all sides refraining from the use of WMD. Rather like Saddam held back his 29 WMD armed (chemical and anthrax) Scud-type guided missiles during the First Gulf War and like Hezbollah did during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. If this is the strategy it is one very, very, massive risk to all involved. Read full story...

| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

IDF intelligence: Syria strengthening ties with radical axis YNet News (September 15, 2008) - Head of Military Intelligence research division tells Knesset committee Damascus simultaneously boosting ties with West, radical countries. Adds: Hamas establishing bona fide country in Gaza. "Syria is moving forward along the path of peace and openness toward the West while simultaneously strengthening its ties to the radical axis," the head of the research division of Military Intelligence, Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday.

Addressing the Iranian nuclear program, Baidatz said "the most optimistic scenario as far as the Iranians are concerned is that they will have obtained nuclear capabilities by 2010," but added that such a scenario was "not likely". According to the intelligence official, Iran is continuing to advance technologically while the international community is not showing any signs of trying to stall the Islamic Republic's progress.

'Weapons smuggling continues'

Baidatz told the MKs that Hamas is continuing to arm itself with Qassam rockets and is obtaining capabilities that may threaten Israel's home front. "Hamas is also improving its defense capabilities in case of an Israeli operation (in Gaza)," he said. "The Islamist group is turning Gaza into a bona fide state. Hamas is the clear and decisive ruler there."  According to Baidatz, the smuggling of weapons and goods into the Strip through the Rafah crossing continues despite the Egyptians' efforts to prevent it.

As for Israel's northern border, Baidatz said Hizbullah may attempt to shoot down any Israeli aircraft that enters Lebanese airspace, adding that the Shiite group's armament was also continuing "north and south of the Litani River". He said the transfer of arms to Hizbullah from Iran and Syria is continuing in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Ahmadinejad: Iran will support Hamas until collapse of Israel Haaretz (September 13, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Friday to keep supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas until the "collapse of Israel." The Iranian news agency Khabar quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Iran views the support of the Palestinian people as part of its religious and national duty and that Iran will stand behind the Palestinian nation "until the big victory feast which is the collapse of the Zionist regime." In a phone conversation between the two leaders, the Iranian president said that the continued Hamas resistance against Israel and the group's achievements would always be "a source of pride for all Muslims." Iran does not acknowledge the sovereignty of Israel and vowed to support Hamas until what Ahmadinejad calls "deliverance from Zionists (Israel)." Haniyeh, the leader of the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, was elected Palestinian prime minister in 2006, but was dismissed in June 2007 by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip from Abbas' Palestinian Authority.
| Iran | Israel | Islam |

Nasrallah: No peace in Middle East as long as Israel exists Haaretz (September 11, 2008) - The Hezbollah leader went on to say that his Lebanon-based guerilla group is stronger than ever and is prepared for its next confrontation with Israel. "Any Israeli attack on Lebanon, Iran, Syria or Gaza will be met with a fierce response," Nasrallah said. He added that Hezbollah has grown logistically and militarily stronger, claiming that all of Lebanon has united against a common enemy - Israel. One subject Nasrallah did not broach in the interview is the assassination last February of the group's second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh. Nasrallah did not discuss how or when his group would avenge the killing. Recent Israeli intelligence reports, however, have suggested that Hezbollah is planning to abduct Israelis abroad as revenge for Mughniyeh's assassination.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Four dead, 26 injured in Iran quake near oil port Hot News Turkey (September 10, 2008) - The U.S. Geological Service said the quake's magitude was 6.1 and it struck at 1100 GMT about 53 km (33 miles) west-southwest of Bandar Abbas, which is home to an oil refinery and the country's main navy base. "All our rescue groups are on alert in Bandar Abbas and (nearby) Qeshm island. We have sent groups to the area. There is the possibility of casualties and fatalities," Hazbavi earlier told Reuters. Iranian reports variously described the quake as 6.0 and 7.5 on the Richter scale. The earthquake in southern Iran was 7.5 on richter scale, Iran's Fars News Agency said, citing Iranian official. State television said the tremor lasted about 30 seconds but was followed by at least 10 aftershocks, the most powerful measuring 4.8 on the Richter Scale. Iran's state-owned Press TV described the tremor as strong but said there were no reports of casualties. "Its centre was Bandar-e Khamir. It might have damaged old parts of the place but we still don't have any (casualty) reports," an Interior Ministry official told Reuters. more...
| Iran | Earth Changes |

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Return to U.S. Fox News (September 10, 2008) - A U.N. spokesman has confirmed to FOX News that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will return to the U.S. to address the U.N.'s assembly on Sept. 23. Jewish groups plan to hold a large protest rally under the slogan "Stop Iran Now!" during Ahmadinejad's visit, Israel National News reported. The rally will take place in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, next to the U.N. building in which Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the General Assembly. The visit comes a year after Ahmadinejad addressed students and faculty at Columbia University last fall. During his last visit, Ahmadinejad ignited a media firestorm with controversial comments in which he refuted the claim that Iran discriminates against women, and was derided loudly by the audience when he said there are no homosexuals in his country. Several people contested Ahmadinejad's invitation from Columbia and criticized the university for extending one. While Columbia President Lee Bolligner offered a scathing introduction to Ahmadinejad's address, it offered little comfort for those opposed to the event.
| Iran | America |

Syria warns of 'catastrophic' effect of any Israeli strike on Iran (September 2, 2008) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned Tuesday that an attack by Israel on Iran would have catastrophic consequences for the entire world. "We think that Israel could try to launch attacks against Iran, even against Lebanon or Syria," he said in an interview with France 3 television. "Any attack by Israel or by anyone else will have catastrophic results not only on the region but on the whole world," he said. In recent months several Israeli politicians have talked of the possibility of a preemptive military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities to avoid any possibility of Tehran acquiring an atomic weapon. Iran has responded by threatening retaliatory strikes with its Shahab-3 missiles which have a nominal range of 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) -- enough to reach Israel.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Israel foils 5 attempted abductions by Hizbullah YNet News (September 2, 2008) - Defense establishment, with assistance of foreign intelligence agencies, successfully hinders attempts to kidnap Israeli businessmen in Europe, West Africa, US, South America and Asia. The Israeli defense establishment has been able to foil five attempted kidnappings of Israeli businessmen, operating aboard, by Hizbullah, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday. A senior security source told the paper that "this was a concentrated effort by Hizbullah, backed by Iran, to carry out kidnappings in retaliation for the assassination of top Hizbullah operative Imad Mugniyah. "Hizbullah," he said, "is scouring for prey, and it's going country by county." Israel has reportedly been able to intercept such attempts in Europe, West Africa, the US, South America and Asia, where Hizbullah relies on local Shiite communities for assistance. All the attempted were foiled with the assistance of foreign intelligence agencies, who are acutely aware of Hizbullah and Iran's declared vendetta. The defense establishment has apparently cautioned several prominent businessmen, who travel extensively, of such attempts. "We're working under the assumption that there may be an attempt to kidnap them, but there very well may be an attempt on their lives. We're monitoring this situation very closely," said the security source. "Several businessmen owe their lives and their freedom to this emergency operation; which was largely facilitated thanks to the cooperation we received from various foreign intelligence agencies." The American media reported recently of several attempts made by Hizbullah sleeper-cells in the US to target Jewish institutions in the US and Canada. The Foreign Ministry and the Shin Bet have also recalled several Israeli emissaries from countries deemed to have a volatile security situation. Security sources told Yedioth Ahronoth that Israel is equally concerned about known Hamas' intentions to abduct soldiers, in at attempt to shift the balance of power in any future negotiation for the release of Palestinian prisoners. Hamas operates under the assumption that kidnapping more Israeli soldiers would enable it to double, if not triple, the price for the release if kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, leaving Israel virtually powerless to refuse. The Counter Terrorism Bureau issued a rare, worldwide travel advisory for Israelis recently, warning of possible attempts by Hizbullah to kidnap or harm Israelis abroad.
| Iran | Israel | Islam |

Hizbullah-Iran-Syria-Lebanon Axis Tightens Israel National News (August 24, 2008) - Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Sunday his terrorist army is much stronger than before the Second Lebanon War and can destroy Israel. He issued the threat at a Boy Scout ceremony as a response to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's remark last week that "if Lebanon becomes a Hizbullah state, then we won't have any restrictions" in striking the country. The Prime Minister claimed that during the last war, Israel did not use all of its firepower because the enemy was Hizbullah and not its host country Lebanon. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has sent United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon a letter protesting Olmert's remarks. Siniora, at a meeting with his Cabinet, accused Israel of "once again… threatening to launch a new attack on Lebanon, forgetting that the [Israeli] occupation was the core of the problem for Lebanon and the region." The flurry of threats and warnings came two days after a report in the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera that three Hizbullah leaders visited Russia in July to clinch a deal involving the purchase of anti-tank missiles and air-defense systems. Israel disclosed evidence during the Second Lebanon War that Hizbullah used advanced Russian anti-tank missiles smuggled from Syria, in violation of previous international agreements. Nasrallah said, in a speech televised by the Hizbullah-backed Al Manar satellite network, that his arsenal of weapons is so great that "the Zionists will think not one thousand times but tens of thousands of times before they attack Lebanon." The prospect of an Israeli attack on Iran's growing nuclear threat also played a hand in Hizbullah's latest threats. Mohammed Raad, the head of the terrorist party's political bloc in the Lebanese government, warned, "The first shot fired from the Zionist entity toward Iran will be met by a response of 11,000 rockets in the direction of the Zionist entity. This is what military leaders in the Islamic Republic [Iran] have confirmed." Hizbullah has become a stronger political force in Lebanon since the end of the war two summers ago, winning enough representation in the Cabinet to veto any major decisions.  Syria, which aided Hizbullah in the Second Lebanon War, last week established diplomatic relations with Lebanon for the first time in history, providing Syrian President Bashar Assad with a stronger political base in Beirut's affairs after having withdrawn its military from Lebanon before the 2006 war. Syria has dominated Lebanese affairs for 30 years, and the West has joined Lebanese opponents of Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs in accusing Damascus of being behind the the 2005 assassination of anti-Syrian former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The new Lebanese government that gives Hizbullah more power assures Syria that it still can influence affairs in Lebanon, with the naming of Michel Suleiman as president. He is close to Syria and was the Lebanese army chief for 10 years during the Syrian army's control of the country. "It's a win-win situation," said Patrick Seale, a British expert on Syria told the Associated Press. "The Lebanese get diplomatic recognition and the Syrians get recognition of vital interests in Lebanon."
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

'Israel reaches strategic decision not to let Iran go nuclear' The Jerusalem Post (August 29, 2008) - Israel will not allow Iran to attain nuclear capability and if time begins to run out, Jerusalem will not hesitate to take whatever means necessary to prevent Iran from achieving its nuclear goals, the government has recently decided in a special discussion. According to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv, whether the United States and Western countries succeed in thwarting the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions diplomatically, through sanctions, or whether a US strike on Iran is eventually decided upon, Jerusalem has begun preparing for a separate, independent military strike. So far, Israel has not received American authorization to use US-controlled Iraqi airspace, nor has the defense establishment been successful in securing the purchase of advanced US-made warplanes which could facilitate an Israeli strike. The Americans have offered Israel permission to use a global early warning radar system, implying that the US is pushing Israel to settle for defensive measures only. Because of Israel's lack of strategic depth, Jerusalem has consistently warned in recent years that it will not settle for a 'wait and see' approach, merely retaliating to an attack, but will rather use preemption to prevent any risk of being hit in the first place. Ephraim Sneh a veteran Labor MK who has recently left the party, has reportedly sent a document to both US presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. The eight-point document states that "there is no government in Jerusalem that would ever reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran. When it is clear Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, an Israeli military strike to prevent this will be seriously considered." According to Ma'ariv, Sneh offered the two candidates the "sane, cheap and the only option that does not necessitate bloodshed." To prevent Iran's nuclear aspirations, Sneh wrote, "real" sanctions applied by the US and Europe were necessary. A total embargo in spare parts for the oil industry and a total boycott of Iranian banks would promptly put an end to the regime, which is already pressured by a sloping economy and would be toppled by the Iranian people if they have outside assistance, he said. The window of opportunity Sneh suggests is a year and a half to two years, until 2010. Sneh also visited Switzerland and Austria last week in an attempt to lobby them against the Iranian threat. Both countries have announced massive long-term investments in Iranian gas and oil fields for the next decade. "Talk of the Jewish Holocaust and Israel's security doesn't impress these guys," Sneh said wryly. Hearing his hosts speak of their future investments, Sneh replied quietly "it's a shame, because Ido will light all this up." He was referring to Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, the recently appointed IAF commander and the man most likely to be the one to orchestrate Israel's attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, should this become a necessity. "Investing in Iran in 2008," Sneh told his Austrian hosts, "is like investing in the Krupp steelworks in 1938, it's a high risk investment." The Austrians, according to Sneh, turned pale. In related news, a top official said Friday that Iran had increased the number of operating centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant to 4,000. Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, who visited the Natanz plant last week, said that Iran was preparing to install even more centrifuges, though he did not offer a timeframe. "Right now, nearly 4,000 centrifuges are operating at Natanz," Attar told the state news agency IRNA. "Currently, 3,000 other centrifuges are being installed." Meanwhile, the pan-Arabic Al Kuds al Arabi reported Friday that Iran had equipped Hizbullah with longer range missiles than those it possessed before the Second Lebanon War and had also improved the guerrilla group's targeting capabilities. According to the report, which The Jerusalem Post could not verify independently, Hizbullah was planning a massive rocket onslaught on targets reaching deep into Israel's civilian underbelly in case Israel launches an attack on Iran.
| Iran | Israel |

'Hizbullah tightens hold on Venezuela' The Jerusalem Post (August 28, 2008) - Agents of Hizbullah and Iran's Revolutionary Guard have deployed special forces in Venezuela intended to kidnap Jewish businessmen and smuggle them to Lebanon, Israel Radio reported Thursday. An expert on counter-terrorism warned in an interview with The Los Angeles Times that Iranian-backed agents have managed to recruit collaborators among Venezuelan citizens living in the capital Caracas. The collaborators are supposed to observe traffic at the Caracas airport and around it in order to collect information on Jewish travelers there. Hizbullah has strengthened its grasp of Venezuela following the warm relationship that grew between Venezuela and Iran. Experts quoted by the Times warned that Venezuela might become a base out of which Hizbullah could carry out terror attacks.
| Iran | Islam |

Iran's Ahmadinejad, Russia's Medvedev to hold talks Tehran Times (August 25, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe which begins on Thursday. Ahmadinejad and Medvedev will talk about strengthening relations between the two countries and discuss regional and international issues, the Fars News Agency reported. This is the first time that two presidents meet each other. The SCO’s eighth conference will be held on August 28 and 29. It will be attended by the presidents of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as its permanent members, the heads of state from Iran, India, Mongolia plus Pakistani foreign minister as observers, and the leaders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan as guests. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental international organization founded in Shanghai on 15 June 2001 by six countries, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Its member states cover an area of about three fifths of Eurasia, with a population of 1.455 billion. Its working languages are Chinese and Russian. The organization’s main objectives include strengthening confidence among the members, increasing political, scientific, cultural, and educational as well as energy, transportation, tourism cooperation between the member states.
| Iran | Gog/Magog |

Iran's Ahmadinejad in New Verbal Attack on Israel AFP (August 23, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad renewed his verbal attacks on arch-foe Israel on Saturday, accusing it of dragging the world into turmoil and predicting its demise. "About 2,000 organised Zionists and 7,000 to 8,000 agents of Zionism have dragged the world into turmoil," Ahmadinejad told a rally in the central Iranian city of Arak carried live on state television. He said that if the West does not restrain Zionism, "the powerful hand of the nations will clean these sources of corruption from the face of the earth," without specifying which nations. Iran does not recognise the Jewish state and Ahmadinejad has drawn international condemnation by repeatedly saying since his election in 2005 that Israel is doomed to disappear. Last month Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie triggered controversy and calls for his resignation when he said Iranians are "friends with Israelis." Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, accuses Iran of seeking atomic weapons and wants tougher sanctions against the Islamic republic to make it halt its controversial nuclear programme. Iran insists that its nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful and aimed at meeting the country's growing energy needs.
| Iran | Israel |

I guess at least he's honest about his intentions.

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.

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 |

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?

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

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 |

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.

'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 |

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 |

'Hizbullah received advanced launchers' The Jerusalem Post (August 10, 2008) - The senior aide to Syrian President Bashar Assad who was assassinated last weekend had been in charge of supplying Hizbullah with advanced anti-aircraft weaponry, the Sunday Times reported. According to the report, Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Suleiman had provided the guerrilla group with advanced Syrian SA-8 anti-aircraft missiles, Middle Eastern sources told the paper. Such missiles could potentially challenge the IAF reconnaissance flights which are currently conducted unhindered over Lebanon. Last week, Lebanon's new Cabinet unanimously approved a draft policy statement which could secure Hizbullah's existence as an armed organization and guarantee its right to "liberate or recover occupied lands." "The Cabinet unanimously approved the draft," Information Minister Tarek Mitri told reporters after the five-hour meeting at the presidential palace in a Beirut suburb last Monday. Government sources in Jerusalem said the decision would make the government in Beirut an accomplice to any Hizbullah aggression and give Israel the right to hold it responsible. During the Second Lebanon War, Israel came under international pressure not to harm Lebanon's infrastructure because it was Hizbullah, not the Lebanese government, that killed several IDF soldiers and kidnapped reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in the July 2006 cross border raid which sparked the conflict.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Not only does this kind of activity seem like something that Israel may react to with force, but also that could help preserve the forces coming from the North following Israel's response to continued arms buildup in clear continued preparation to fulfill the promised destruction of the state of Israel from her enemies. We know God's plans however and while Israel will be severely diminished in the future time of Jacob's trouble, there is a remnant that will come to see Yeshua as the Messiah they have been longing for.

'2 US aircraft carriers headed for Gulf' The Jerusalem Post (August 7, 2008) - Two additional United States naval aircraft carriers are heading to the Gulf and the Red Sea, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Kuwait Times. Kuwait began finalizing its "emergency war plan" on being told the vessels were bound for the region. The US Navy would neither confirm nor deny that carriers were en route. US Fifth Fleet Combined Maritime Command located in Bahrain said it could not comment due to what a spokesman termed "force-protection policy." While the Kuwaiti daily did not name the ships it believed were heading for the Middle East, The Media Line's defense analyst said they could be the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Ronald Reagan. Within the last month, the Roosevelt completed an exercise along the US east coast focusing on communication among navies of different countries. It has since been declared ready for operational duties. The Reagan, currently with the Seventh Fleet, had just set sail from Japan. The Seventh Fleet area of operation stretches from the East Coast of Africa to the International Date Line. Meanwhile, the Arabic news agency Moheet reported at the end of July that an unnamed American destroyer, accompanied by two Israeli naval vessels traveled through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean. A week earlier, a US nuclear submarine accompanied by a destroyer and a supply ship moved into the Mediterranean, according to Moheet. Currently there are two US naval battle groups operating in the Gulf: one is an aircraft carrier group, led by the USS Abraham Lincoln, which carries some 65 fighter aircraft. The other group is headed by the USS Peleliu which maintains a variety of planes and strike helicopters. The ship movements coincide with the latest downturn in relations between Washington and Teheran. The US and Iran are at odds over Iran's nuclear program, which the Bush administration claims is aimed at producing material for nuclear weapons; however, Teheran argues it is only for power generation. Kuwait, like other Arab countries in the Gulf, fears it will be caught in the middle should the US decide to launch an air strike against Iran if negotiations fail. The Kuwaitis are finalizing details of their security, humanitarian and vital services, the newspaper reported. The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman - lie just across the Gulf from Iran. Generals in the Iranian military have repeatedly warned that American interests in the region would be targeted if Iran is subjected to any military strike by the US or its Western allies. Bahrain hosts the US Fifth Fleet, while there is a sizeable American base in Qatar. It is assumed the US also has military personnel in the other Gulf states, The Media Line's defense analyst said. Iran is thought to have intelligence operatives working in the GCC states, according to Dubai-based military analysts. The standoff between the US and Iran has left the Arab nations' political leaders in something of a bind, as they were being used as pawns by Washington and Teheran, according to The Media Line analyst. Iran has offered them economic and industrial sweeteners, while the US is boosting their defense capabilities. US President George W. Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have paid visits to the GCC states in a bid to win their support.
| Iran | Islam | America |

Energy ties deepen between Iran and Turkey Gas And Oil (August 7, 2008) - The United States has maintained various sanctions against Iran since 1979, implemented in aftermath of the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran. As relations worsen between the US and Iran, Washington is seeking to have the United Nations Security Council impose additional sanctions on Iran for its nuclear enrichment activities, which Tehran insists are legal, entirely peaceful, and intended for generating electricity. Among the sanctions that most concern foreign energy companies and nations is the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), renewed in 2001, which provides for punitive measures against entities that invest more than $20 mm (EUR 13 mm) annually in the Iranian oil and gas sectors. Many countries are deeply ambivalent toward the US policy, none more so than Turkey, which imports 90% of its energy needs. Now Ankara is pushing the limits by increasing its natural gas purchases from Iran and considering possible involvement in developing the world’s largest hydrocarbon reserves. On July 29 Iranian Petroleum Minister Qolam Hosein Nozari said in Tehran that Turkey and Iran were negotiating over Turkey being a transit corridor for Iranian natural gas exports to Europe and that Iran would provide increased amounts of natural gas to Turkey during the winter (Anadolu Ajansi, June 30). According to Nozari, the pipeline, which would run from Iran’s South Pars natural gas and oil fields to the border province of Bazargan, was discussed during the OPEC summit held on June 22 in Jeddah (Tehran Times, June 29). Even worse for administration officials seeking to sustain and intensify the US sanctions regime, Nozari said, “We have also spoken about the participation of Turkey in the development of phases 14 and 23 of the South Pars field” (Hurriyet, June 30). The 3,745 sq-mile Persian Gulf South Pars-North Dome gas condensate field, straddling Iranian and Qatari territorial waters, is the world’s largest known gas field. Discovered by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in 1990, Iran’s sector, known as South Pars, covers 1,428 sq miles, with the site’s remaining 2,317 sq miles, North Dome, lying in Qatari waters. South Pars-North Dome has estimated reserves of approximately 51 tcm of natural gas and 50 bn barrels of condensate; with in-place reserves equivalent to 360 bn barrels of oil. South Pars-North Dome is the world’s biggest conventional hydrocarbon accretion, dwarfing even Saudi Arabia’s 170 bn barrel Ghawar oil field (Middle East Economic Survey, March 20, 2006). Phase 14, due to begin production in 2014, is part of a $10 bn (EUR 6.5 bn) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, which already has foreign investors -- a partnership of NIOC (50%), Anglo-Dutch firm Royal Dutch Shell (25%), and Spain’s Repsol-YPF (25%). When operational, the project’s initial production capacity will consist of two components, each capable of an annual production of 8 mm tons of LNG. For Ankara, the choice of major natural gas suppliers is difficult, Russia or Iran, while waiting for Azerbaijan to ramp up production. Iran, which holds the world's second largest gas reserves, currently provides over one-third of Turkey’s domestic demand, while Turkey receives 63.7% of its imports from Gazprom with smaller volumes coming from Azerbaijan. In 1996 Turkey signed a contract with Iran for natural gas deliveries, which began in December 2001 via a pipeline from Tabriz to Ankara. The South Caucasus pipeline, also known as the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline, opened in December 2006 with an annual capacity of 8.8 bn cm and carries Azeri Caspian natural gas to Turkey via Georgia. Energy imports from both nations are critical to sustaining Turkish economic growth, even though Washington, whose diplomatic relations are increasingly strained with Russia and non-existent with Iran, is very unhappy about the situation. According to Turkey’s Turkiye Istatistik Kurumu (Turkish Statistical Institute), Turkey’s economic growth accelerated more than expected from January through March, increasing to 6.6% from 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2007 ( The figure exceeded the market estimates by 35 to 40%, as the expected growth rate was around 4% (Milliyet, July 1). In 2007 Turkey's annual GDP growth rate was 4.5%. Rising energy costs, however, are proving to be a significant drag on economic growth. Earlier this year the Turkish government hiked electricity prices by 21%, and Ankara is preparing to raise natural gas prices in July by 9% for residences and 11% for businesses (Radikal, July 1). In June, Turkey’s Devlet Planlama Teskilati (State Planning Organization, or DPT) prepared a comprehensive projection for Turkey’s economy from 2009 through 2011, which has been approved by the Cabinet and published in the government’s official gazette, Resmi Gazete (, June 28). The plan includes measures to ensure energy supply security in the long-term and gives top priority to decreasing the country’s dependence on imported natural gas. At a time of record high oil prices, when Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah said, "Consumer countries have to adapt to the prices and the mechanisms of the market," Washington’s efforts to compel its allies to respect its hard-line sanctions against Tehran seem at best naïve, especially when the United States has no alternative sources of energy to offer (Al-Siyassah, July 2). While Washington’s threats of sanctions in June caused both Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol-YPF to withdraw from the South Pars development, there is a major difference between a multinational company and a sovereign government bending to sanctions. For Turkey, displays of political solidarity must take a back seat to financial considerations, as the government is committed to economic growth to improve the lives of its citizens. Ankara estimates that from Desert Storm in 1991 until the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, it lost an estimated $80 bn in oil revenues and increased energy costs as a result of supporting US and UN sanctions and policies against Iraq. Washington can hardly expect Turkey to suffer further financial losses for supporting its Middle East policies. With no end to energy price increases in sight, Washington must acknowledge the reality of Turkey’s pragmatic economic relations with its energy-rich eastern neighbour, even if it does not agree with them.
| Iran | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Lebanese gov't: Hizbullah can use force to 'liberate' territory The Jerusalem Post (August 1, 2008) - In a display of Hizbullah's extended involvement in conflicts throughout the Middle East, Coalition Special Forces captured two members of the group during a raid over the weekend in eastern Baghdad. According to the Multinational Force Iraq, the raid targeted the home of an individual suspected of serving as a member of a Hizbullah cell - called "Kata'ib Hizbullah" or "Hizbullah Brigades" - suspected of making videos of attacks on coalition forces. The videos are then used to raise funds and resources for additional attacks against coalition and Iraqi forces. According to media reports, the Hizbullah Brigades have been active for over a year in Iraq and like Hizbullah in Lebanon, the group is trained and financed by Iran, likely via the Hizbullah's Al Kuds force, which was commanded by its chief operations officer Imad Mughniyeh who was assassinated in Damascus in February. "The Hizbullah Brigades receive support from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command for financing, weapons, training and guidance," the Multi-National Force in Iraq said in a statement in response to a Jerusalem Post inquiry. "They have claimed responsibility for attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi Security Forces as early as late 2005." On videos that it has posted on the Internet, the Hizbullah Brigades group uses a logo very similar to the Lebanese Hizbullah flag, showing a raised arm holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle, although coalition forces said they were not sure of the nature of the relationship with the Lebanese Hizbullah. This is not the first time that Hizbullah operatives have been captured in Iraq. In July 2007, coalition forces apprehended Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior Hizbullah leader and explosives expert, in Basra where he was reportedly training forces and even participated in several deadly attacks against US troops. Daqduq, a veteran of the Al-Kuds Force, was reportedly in Iraq to train and evaluate the performance of anti-US Shi'ite militias. Also Friday, Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, Hizbullah military commander in Southern Lebanon, told the Daily Telegraph that the group was stronger today than before the Second Lebanon War and was prepared for conflict with Israel. "The resistance is now stronger than before and this keeps the option of war awake," he told the paper. "If we were weak, Israel would not hesitate to start another war... We are stronger than before and when Hizbullah is strong, our strength stops Israel from starting a new war... We don't seek war, but we must be ready." Israel has claimed that since the war Hizbullah has tripled its missile arsenal and today has more than 30,000 rockets, some of which are capable of reaching almost anywhere within Israel and as far south as Dimona. Last week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and warned him that Security Council Resolution 1701 had collapsed and that UNIFIL was not effective in curbing Hizbullah's military build-up. "To our disappointment we are witnessing that over the past two years the number of missiles in Hizbullah's hands has doubled and maybe even tripled," Barak told Ban. "The ranges of the missiles have been extended and this is mainly due to close Syrian assistance."
| Iran | Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

U.S. Intel: Iran Plans Nuclear Strike on U.S. Newsmax (July 29, 2008) - Iran has carried out missile tests for what could be a plan for a nuclear strike on the United States, the head of a national security panel has warned. In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee and in remarks to a private conference on missile defense over the weekend hosted by the Claremont Institute, Dr. William Graham warned that the U.S. intelligence community “doesn’t have a story” to explain the recent Iranian tests. One group of tests that troubled Graham, the former White House science adviser under President Ronald Reagan, were successful efforts to launch a Scud missile from a platform in the Caspian Sea. “They’ve got [test] ranges in Iran which are more than long enough to handle Scud launches and even Shahab-3 launches,” Dr. Graham said. “Why would they be launching from the surface of the Caspian Sea? They obviously have not explained that to us.” Another troubling group of tests involved Shahab-3 launches where the Iranians "detonated the warhead near apogee, not over the target area where the thing would eventually land, but at altitude,” Graham said. “Why would they do that?” Graham chairs the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, a blue-ribbon panel established by Congress in 2001. The commission examined the Iranian tests “and without too much effort connected the dots,” even though the U.S. intelligence community previously had failed to do so, Graham said. “The only plausible explanation we can find is that the Iranians are figuring out how to launch a missile from a ship and get it up to altitude and then detonate it,” he said. “And that’s exactly what you would do if you had a nuclear weapon on a Scud or a Shahab-3 or other missile, and you wanted to explode it over the United States.” The commission warned in a report issued in April that the United States was at risk of a sneak nuclear attack by a rogue nation or a terrorist group designed to take out our nation’s critical infrastructure. "If even a crude nuclear weapon were detonated anywhere between 40 kilometers to 400 kilometers above the earth, in a split-second it would generate an electro-magnetic pulse [EMP] that would cripple military and civilian communications, power, transportation, water, food, and other infrastructure," the report warned. While not causing immediate civilian casualties, the near-term impact on U.S. society would dwarf the damage of a direct nuclear strike on a U.S. city. “The first indication [of such an attack] would be that the power would go out, and some, but not all, the telecommunications would go out. We would not physically feel anything in our bodies,” Graham said. As electric power, water and gas delivery systems failed, there would be “truly massive traffic jams,” Graham added, since modern automobiles and signaling systems all depend on sophisticated electronics that would be disabled by the EMP wave. “So you would be walking. You wouldn’t be driving at that point,” Graham said. “And it wouldn’t do any good to call the maintenance or repair people because they wouldn’t be able to get there, even if you could get through to them.” The food distribution system also would grind to a halt as cold-storage warehouses stockpiling perishables went offline. Even warehouses equipped with backup diesel generators would fail, because “we wouldn’t be able to pump the fuel into the trucks and get the trucks to the warehouses,” Graham said. The United States “would quickly revert to an early 19th century type of country.” except that we would have 10 times as many people with ten times fewer resources, he said. more...
| Iran | America |

While there's nothing Biblically that I'm aware of regarding this kind of scenario, I also can't find concrete evidence of America either. Is this kind of thing possible? Yes. Will it happen? I don't know, but it wouldn't hurt for this scenario or others to prepare a little while we can.

Iran's Ahmadinejad in Turkey In Next Month Iran Mania (July 26, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to pay an official visit to Turkey at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, PressTV reported. The visit would take place late in August and diplomatic sources in Ankara have declared that a date for the visit will be set soon, Turkish Daily reported on Friday. During the meeting agreements would be signed to further strengthen economic ties between the two neighboring countries. In May, Ahmadinejad in a meeting with Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen said the two countries have the potential to turn into major economic powers in the world. The Turkish state minister said that the trade volume between the two countries could reach USD 20b by the end of 2011.
| Iran | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Report: Convoy shipping arms to Hizbullah destroyed in Tehran blast YNet News (July 25, 2008) - London-based Daily Telegraph reports of mysterious blast in military convoy leaving Revolutionary Guards Base last weekend. At least 15 people killed in explosion, but Iranian authorities seeking to silence incident. Was sabotage responsible for disrupting a shipment of arms from Iran to Hizbullah ? The London-based Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Friday of a mysterious explosion which devastated an Iranian supply convoy intended to reach Hizbullah. According to the report, the strong blast took place in one of Tehran's suburbs as a military convoy left a Revolutionary Guards' ammunition storehouse. At least 15 people were killed in the explosion. Western sources reported that the blast took place on July 19 and that the convoy was carrying military equipment for the Lebanese terror organization. It was also reported that senior Revolutionary Guards officials banned the Iranian media from reporting the explosion, even though it was heard throughout the capital. The Guards launched an investigation into the incident. An official source told the newspaper that the strong explosion was heard across Tehran, adding that the Revolutionary Guards were trying to silence the incident despite the fact that many people were killed. Additional explosions and mysterious incidents which have taken place in Iran recently are being investigated by the Revolutionary Guards. In one of the incidents, a blast rocked a mosque in the city of Shiraz, where weapons were being displayed, killing 11 people. Iranian Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei said following the incident that the main suspect in the affair was arrested. "The terrorist group had ties with the US and Britain. These countries were informed of the arrest by the Foreign Ministry," he said, "but the countries did nothing to prevent these terror groups' activity." more...
| Iran |

Iran, Turkey discuss ways to further cooperation, nuclear issue Mathaba (July 19, 2008) - The Iranian minister who visited Turkey at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan left Ankara on Friday evening. During the meeting, Mottaki and Erdogan stressed the need for broadening Tehran-Ankara economic ties by carrying out more projects in energy field including construction of power plants. Mottaki also briefed Erdogan on latest developments on Iran's peaceful nuclear program hoping that the upcoming talks between nuclear Iran and the Group 5+1 would lead to positive outcome. Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili arrived in Geneva, Austria, on July 18 to take part in the talks due to be held on Saturday. In a major shift from a long-standing policy, the US State Department announced on Wednesday that Under Secretary of State William Burns, the third-highest US diplomat, would join the 5+1 talks with Iran. The Turkish prime minister told Mottaki that Ankara was happy that the trend of talks between Iran and the West was progressing. Erdogan stressed that peaceful negotiations was the only solution to Iran's nuclear standoff with the West. Mottaki also held two rounds of talks with his Turkish counterpart and also met Turkish President Abdullah Gul. His visit to Turkey was part of a regional tour which had earlier took him to Oman and Syria.
| Iran | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Waiting For Islam's Messiah CBN News (July 17, 2008) - Iran's president believes Allah has chosen him to prepare the world for the coming of an Islamic 'savior' called the Mahdi. But before the Mahdi's return, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes there must be global chaos - even if he has to create it himself. Whether it's his belief that Israel should be wiped off the map, denials of the Holocaust, obsession with going nuclear, or support for radical Islamic terrorist groups, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a man on a divine mission. To understand him, and that mission, you have travel to the small dusty village of Jamkaran tucked in a corner of Iran's holy city of Qom. On a recent Tuesday afternoon, CBN News made that journey heading south out of Iran's capital, Tehran. Some 95 miles, and a couple of wrong turns later, we arrived at the Jamkaran mosque on the outskirts of Qom. Behind the Jamkaran mosque there is a well. According to many Shiite Muslims, out of this well will emerge one day their version of an Islamic 'savior.' They call him the Mahdi or the 12th Imam. Ron Cantrell has written a book about the Mahdi. He explained, "The Mahdi is a personage that is expected to come on the scene, by Islam, as a messiah figure. He is slotted to come in the end of time, according to their writings, very much like how we think of the return of Jesus." Shiite Muslims believe the Mahdi, a descendent of the Prophet Mohammed, vanished in the middle of the 9th century. Cantrell told us, "The 12th Imam disappeared, around the age of 9, with a promise that he would return and he would bring Islam to its total fruition as the world's last standing religion." Enter Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Since becoming the president of Iran in August 2005, Ahmadinejad has emerged as the Mahdi's most influential follower. Cantrell said, "[Ahmadinejad] has stated that his mandate is to pave the way for the coming of this Islamic 'messiah'." In almost all his speeches, Ahmadinejad begs Allah to hasten the return of the Mahdi. At a recent military parade attended by CBN News in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said, "Oh, Allah, please facilitate Imam Mahdi's early return and make us one of his supporters." He said something similar last September just before ending a speech at the United Nations in New York. Ahmadinejad said, "Oh mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository [a reference to the Mahdi], the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace." more...
| Iran | Islam |

I have a theory from my study of Bible prophecy that the 12th Mahdi will reappear, but is the false prophet of Revelation 13. The false prophet is the beast that comes from the earth (a well?) and has two horns like a lamb but speaks like a dragon. Could these horns represent the sects of Shia and Sunni Islam? It seems to me that if the Mahdi were to reappear following the destruction of the Magog invasion, that he could unite Islam under himself and correctly interpret the Islamic prophecies and with signs and wonders, point all worship to the man of sin who will be given power by the dragon to rule the earth. Regardless of whether they accept the man of sin or not, those who refuse are beheaded. With their Mahdi leading the way, would they turn against him? This theory isn't definitive, I'm still watching, but Biblical prophecy will be fulfilled regardless of what other faiths prophecy. That is my belief and time will tell. Keep watching!

We only get one strike The Jerusalem Post (July 16, 2008) - An Israeli attack on Iran seems inevitable. If it succeeds, it will return to Israel its deterrent power and send a clear message to the saber-rattling jihadists that they were too early in beginning the countdown for the disappearance of the Jewish state. If it fails, or fails to achieve the majority of its objectives, it could amount to an act of national suicide. Fanatical Muslims on every side will be encouraged by the failure and outcome of an Iranian retaliation which would cause heavy damage to the whole center of our country. Iran would unquestionably be joined by its proxies on our borders, Hizbullah and Syria on the north and Hamas on the south, the PLO jihad brigades under various names, and the Arabs of Israel. The latter have already shown their ability to block major traffic arteries and demonstrated that their loyalties rest with their Arab brethren, not with the Jewish state. The repeated declarations of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the aim of Iran is to wipe Israel off the world map should not be taken as the empty, fiery words of a fanatical Muslim dictator, but as a plan of action. True, Iran does not need a pretext, but an Israeli attack on any nuclear installation in Iran, or just an invasion of Iranian air space could be used as an excellent reason for mounting an all-out missile attack. Since the late ninth century, the Shi'ites have been expecting the emergence of the hidden imam-mahdi, armed with divine power and followed by thousands of martyrdom-seeking warriors. He is expected to conquer the world and establish Shi'ism as its supreme religion and system of rule. His appearance would involve terrible war and unusual bloodshed. Ahmadinejad, as mayor of Teheran, built a spectacular boulevard through which the mahdi would enter into the capital. There is no question that Ahmadinejad believes he has been chosen to be the herald of the mahdi. Shi'ite Islam differs from Sunni Islam regarding the identity of the mahdi. The Sunni mahdi is essentially an anonymous figure; the Shi'ite mahdi is a divinely inspired person with a real identity. However both Shi'ites and Sunnis share one particular detail about "the coming of the hour" and the dawning of messianic times: The Jews must all suffer a violent death, to the last one. Both Shi'ites and Sunnis quote the famous hadith attributed to the Prophet Muhammad: The last hour will not come unless the Muslims fight against the Jews, and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and the stone or the tree would say: "Muslim! Servant of Allah! Here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!" Not one Friday passes without this hadith being quoted in sermons from one side of the Islamic world to the other. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

If it weren't for my study of Bible prophecy, I would probably expect Israel to attack Iran. I could very well be wrong and nothing I say should be taken without personal study and prayer, but I'm continually brought back to Isaiah 17 and the destruction of Damascus apparently by the "children of Israel." This opinion piece brings home the possible reality of this a little more. I think Israel realizes the seriousness of their current situation and if they are going to make a show of force, it will be big. After the loss in Lebanon during the summer 2006 engagement, Israel can't afford to appear insincere about her existence. If the elections in Israel change leadership to someone like Netanyahu, we could see a government more willing to make their intentions to remain more clear. Could it lead to the destruction of Damascus? I can't say, but I'm watching and will keep sharing what I see with you so you can decide for yourself and share with those who have ears to hear.

Ahmadinejad: We'll sever enemies' hands The Jerusalem Post (July 13, 2008) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened on Sunday to "cut off the hands" of any would-be attackers of the Islamic Republic. "Before the enemies touch the trigger, the armed forces will cut off their hands," the state-run IRNA news agency quoted the leader as saying. Ahmadinejad said that missile tests conducted last week exhibited "only a small part" of Iran's defense capabilities, and that, if necessary, further capabilities would be revealed. Ahmadinejad's statement comes amid a report that US President George W. Bush has given Israel the "amber light" to carry out an attack on Iran if diplomatic efforts are unsuccessful in causing the Islamic Republic to back down and relinquish its nuclear program. According to a senior Pentagon official quoted by the British Sunday Times on Sunday morning, Bush has given Israel free rein to attack Iran's nuclear sites if sanctions fail in spite of opposition from US generals and regardless of the possible economic and political repercussions of such a strike. "Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you're ready," the official said, adding however, that Israel had been told that it could not count on the US to lend it military support. Contradicting recent reports to the contrary, he also said that the IAF would not be permitted to take off from American military bases in Iraq. The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report. Ahmadinejad's aggressive statements contrasted strikingly with a report on Iranian state TV Sunday, which quoted him as saying that Iran would welcome the idea of setting up a US diplomatic office in Teheran. The report quoted the firebrand Iranian leader as saying he would consider an American request to set up an interests section in Iran. He said he "welcomes any move to expand ties." But Ahmadinejad said his government hasn't received any official request for such an office. Last month, US officials floated the idea but no formal requests were made. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog | America |

Iran says Solana nuclear talks July 19 in Geneva AFP (July 11, 2008) - Iran said on Friday that its top nuclear negotiator and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will hold their next talks on ending the nuclear standoff on July 19, despite Western concern over the test-firing of several missiles by Tehran. "They are to continue their negotiations about the package on Saturday, July 19" in Geneva, said Ahmad Khadem al-Melleh, spokesman for the secretariat of Iran's supreme national security council, according to the state-run IRNA agency. World powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- last month presented Iran with a package aimed at ending the five-year-old nuclear crisis, notably offering Tehran technological incentives in exchange for suspending the sensitive process of uranium enrichment. "The trip of Dr Jalili to Geneva is taking place after the world powers welcomed the continuation of the talks on common points in the two packages that have been proposed," the spokesman added. Iran has proposed its own package -- a more all-embracing attempt to solve the problems of the world including the nuclear standoff -- and has made much of the common ground between the two proposals. The French foreign ministry has, however, confirmed that Iran does not say in its response that it is prepared to suspend uranium enrichment, which world powers say they fear could be used to make a nuclear weapon. Solana's spokeswoman Cristina Gallach declined to confirm the date, saying "we are continuing to work on the meeting and we are in the process of holding discussions" with Iran. But she reaffirmed that a meeting was still scheduled by the end of this month. more...
| Iran | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana |

Crossfire War - Israel Estimates Iran-Syria to Fire 250-300 Long Range Missiles News Blaze (July 3, 2008) - "How Many Missiles will be Fired from Iran-Syria-Lebanon Against Israel in the Next War?" was the subject of a lecture given by Major-General (res.) Eitan Ben Eliahu at the Israel Missile Defense Association (IMDA) ( a new link with Crossfire War. Haaretz reports General Eliahu headed the Israel Air Force (IAF) from 1996-2000 and in his lecture earlier this week he estimated Syria-Iran will launch 250-300 long range Shahab-Scud missiles at Israel in the next war. Eliahu estimated Hezbollah in Lebanon will be able to launch 5,000 short range missiles, an increase from the 4,200 they fired in 2006. Hezbollah does possess some longer range missiles which can hit Tel Aviv and no doubt they will be used as quickly as possible since the IAF will make destroying the longer range missiles their top priority whether they are fired from Lebanon-Syria-Iran. Eliahu expects the full scale fighting to last 20 days. [HAARETZ] In the course of his discussion General Eliahu mentioned Israel operates under a security doctrine that does allow for An Initiated War (preventive strike) as in 1967 which was so successful the war lasted only six days and Israel was able to take the strategic Golan Heights, a Syrian obsession ever since and Damascus' main motive for entering the war this year. He then said if an Initiated War is not possible then the doctrine provides for a Pre-Emptive Attack to disrupt the enemy's preparation. The IAF attack on the Syrian nuclear base last September was an example. Eliahu then mentioned if war does result then Israel Defense Forces (IDF) must conduct a holding operation during which they must achieve Aerial Superiority. He probably realizes if/when Israel does conduct a pre-emptive attack on Iran, for disruptive purposes, it would mean full scale war, beyond the serious flare ups of the past two years which did not yet lead to Israel's offensive into Gaza. Eliahu stated Israel should expect the next war to require action on one to three fronts and in order to achieve victory the IDF must crush the enemy on one of the fronts, which would be either Hezbollah in Lebanon or Syria. Since the ground area to cover is smaller in Lebanon Israel's offensive there should not take as long as in the case with Syria. Jerusalem may also prefer a quick victory against the hated Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah even if it means using nuclear weapons. Concerning Palestinian units in Gaza Eliahu recommends a war of containment which would include a ground offensive. Against Iran he recommended long range attacks should be continued. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Russia Warns Israel Against Tehran Attack The Nation (June 24, 2008) - Russia, one of the world's major powers, has warned of "disasterous consequences" if Israel attacked Iran's nuclear facilities. "If things happen like threats of force and unilateral sanctions outside the framework of the [UN] Security Council, it is distracting from the negotiating process," Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, said when asked to comment on a newspaper report about a large military exercise carried out by Israel this month as a rehearsal for a bombing attack on Iran. On Saturday, The Washington Post said senior U.S. officials confirmed that Israel had held a massive operation that involved the types of warplanes, distances and maneuvers required for airstrikes on Iran, a story which was first reported by The New York Times. "A military move would have devastating consequences for the prospect of resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, for the region and internationally," the Russian ambassador added. The Post said, "The mock (Israeli) operation reflected a growing policy schism over Iran among major international players at a time when U.S. politics may freeze major decisions until a new administration is in place, its officials are confirmed and a policy review is complete." more...
| Iran | Israel | Gog/Magog |

Israel on the Iran Brink Wall Street Journal (June 23, 2008) - Israel isn't famous for welcoming public scrutiny of its most sensitive military plans. But we doubt Jerusalem officials were dismayed to see news of their recent air force exercises splashed over the front pages of the Western press. Those exercises – reportedly involving about 100 fighters, tactical bombers, refueling planes and rescue helicopters – were conducted about 900 miles west of Israel's shores in the Mediterranean. Iran's nuclear facilities at Bushehr, Isfahan and Natanz all fall roughly within the same radius, albeit in the opposite direction. The point was not lost on Tehran, which promptly warned of "strong blows" in the event of a pre-emptive Israeli attack. The more important question is whether the meaning of Israel's exercise registered in Western capitals. It's been six years since Iran's secret nuclear programs were publicly exposed, and Israel has more or less bided its time as the Bush Administration and Europe have pursued diplomacy to induce Tehran to cease enriching uranium. It hasn't worked. Iran has rejected repeated offers of technical and economic assistance, most recently this month. Despite four years of pleading, the Administration has failed to win anything but weak U.N. sanctions. Russia plans to sell advanced antiaircraft missiles to Iran and finish work on a nuclear reactor at Bushehr, though spent fuel from that reactor could eventually be diverted and reprocessed into weapons-usable plutonium. Chinese companies still invest in Iran, while the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, has repeatedly downplayed Iran's nuclear threat. As for the U.S., December's publication of a misleading National Intelligence Estimate that claimed Iran had halted nuclear weaponization signaled America's own lack of seriousness toward Iranian ambitions. Barack Obama is leading in the Presidential polls and portrays as a virtue his promise to negotiate with Iran "without precondition" – i.e., without insisting that Tehran stop enriching uranium. All the while Iran continues to enrich, installing thousands of additional centrifuges of increasingly more sophisticated design while it buries key facilities underground. No wonder Israel is concluding that it will have to act on its own to prevent a nuclear Iran. Earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former army chief of staff, warned that "if Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack." Other officials distanced themselves from those remarks, but September's one-shot raid on Syria's nuclear reactor ought to be proof of Israel's determination. An Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites would of course look nothing like the Syrian operation. The distances are greater; the targets are hardened, defended and dispersed; hundreds of sorties and several days would be required. Iran would retaliate, with the help of Hezbollah and Hamas, possibly sparking a regional conflict as large as the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Mr. ElBaradei predicted this weekend that such an attack would turn the Middle East into a "ball of fire," yet his own apologies for Iran and the West's diplomatic failures are responsible for bringing the region to this pass. They have convinced the mullahs that the powers responsible for maintaining world order lack the will to stop Iran. Israelis surely don't welcome a war in which they will suffer. Yet they have no choice but to defend themselves against an enemy that vows to obliterate them if Iran acquires the weapon to do so. The tragic paradox of the past six years is that the diplomatic and intelligence evasions offered in the name of avoiding war with Iran have done the most to bring us close to this brink. Appeasement that ends in war is a familiar theme of history.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Iran and Syria sign missile pact Gulf In The Media (June 2, 2008) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps has created an independent missile command to be integrated with a Syrian missile program, military sources said. The DEBKAfile news agency reported Sunday that the joint command was formalized in a treaty signed by the Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani in Tehran last week. Under the agreement, Syria's missile units would come under the new Iranian missile section and their operations would be fully coordinated with Tehran. Iranian officers are to be attached to Syrian units, while Syrian officers are posted to the Iranian command. Military sources told DEBKAfile that Iran's control of four hostile missile fronts would virtually neutralize the American and Israeli anti-missile defense systems in the region.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

'Unavoidable' attack on Iran looms, says Israeli minister Guardian UK (June 6, 2008) - An Israeli minister has said an attack on Iran's nuclear sites will be "unavoidable" if Tehran refuses to halt its alleged weapons programme. In the most explicit threat yet by a member of Ehud Olmert's government, Shaul Mofaz, a deputy prime minister, said the hardline Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "would disappear before Israel does". "If Iran continues with its programme for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective," Mofaz, who is also Israel's transport minister, said in comments published today by the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. "Attacking Iran in order to stop its nuclear plans will be unavoidable." Iranian-born Mofaz is a former army chief and defence minister. He is a member of Olmert's security cabinet and leads regular strategic coordination talks with the US state department. Iran denies trying to build nuclear weapons and has defied western pressure to abandon uranium enrichment. The leadership in Tehran has threatened that if attacked the country will retaliate against Israel - believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal - and American targets in the region. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map since becoming president. On Monday, he said Israel was "about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene". Olmert met the US president, George Bush, on Wednesday to discuss concerns over Iran. The Israeli prime minister, who is being pressured to resign over a corruption scandal, has said that Iran's nuclear threat "must be stopped by all possible means". Israeli planes bombed Syria in September, destroying what the US administration said was a partly built nuclear reactor using North Korean help. Syria denied having any such facility. UN inspectors announced this week that they would be visiting Syria to investigate the American claim.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog | America |

Interesting having just watched I Will Turn Thee Back: Turkey At A Crossroads by Avi Lipkin...

Turkey, Iran Coordinating Action Against Kurdish Rebels: report (June 5, 2008) - Turkey and Iran have carried out simultaneous military action against separatist Kurdish rebels holed up in northern Iraq and are sharing intelligence, a Turkish general was quoted as saying Thursday. "When they start action, we also do... They carry out operations from the Iranian side of the border and we do so from the Turkish side," land forces commander Ilker Basbug said, the CNN Turk news channel reported on its web site. The general said no such coordinated action had taken place in the past two months, but that it could be launched again in the future. Separatist Kurdish militants of both Turkish and Iranian origin take refuge in the mountains of northern Iraq, where the frontiers of the three countries meet, and use camps there as a launching pad for attacks into Turkey and Iran. "We are working in coordination with Iran in the region... We are sharing information," Basbug said. Turkish and Iranian forces often shell rebel positions across the border. Since December, Turkey has also carried out several bombing raids in northern Iraq and in February conducted a week-long ground offensive against camps of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) there. The PKK, which has waged a bloody campaign for Kurdish self-rule in southeast Turkey, is closely associated with Iran's Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), which has recently stepped up attacks on the Iranian security forces. Turkey and Iran have been helping each other on security matters, primarily to stop the movement of rebels across their porous border, since they signed a cooperation agreement in the late 1990s. Turkish media have reported that the two neighbours hammered out a fresh deal in April involving intelligence sharing. Following an air raid against PKK camps in northern Iraq in May, the Turkish army said senior rebel commander Cemil Bayik fled into a neighbouring country together with a large group of militants, engaging in clashes with local security forces. The army did not name the country, but it is believed to be Iran. It said that its security forces killed many of Bayik's bodyguards, with the commander's fate unknown. Listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, the PKK has been fighting for self-rule in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. The conflict has claimed more than 37,000 lives.
| Iran | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Ahmadinejad says Israel will soon disappear (June 2, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted on Monday that Muslims would uproot "satanic powers" and repeated his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear, the Mehr news agency reported. "I must announce that the Zionist regime (Israel), with a 60-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene," he said. "Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started." Since taking the presidency in August 2005, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly provoked international outrage by predicting Israel is doomed to disappear. "I tell you that with the unity and awareness of all the Islamic countries all the satanic powers will soon be destroyed," he said to a group of foreign visitors ahead of the 19th anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Ahmadinejad also again expressed his apocalyptic vision that tyranny in the world be abolished by the return to earth of the Mahdi, the 12th imam of Shiite Islam, alongside great religious figures including Jesus Christ. "With the appearance of the promised saviour... and his companions such as Jesus Christ, tyranny will be soon be eradicated in the world." Ahmadinejad has always been a devotee of the Mahdi, who Shiites believe disappeared more than a thousand years ago and who will return one day to usher in a new era of peace and harmony. His emphasis on the Mahdi has been a cause of controversy inside Iran with critics saying he would be better solving bread-and-butter domestic problems rather than talking about Iran's divine responsibility.
| Iran | Israel | Gog/Magog |

Exclusive: Limited US attack on Iranian Revolutionary Guards bases in sight DEBKAfile (June 2, 2008) - Our Washington sources report that president George W. Bush is closer than ever before to ordering a limited missile-air bombardment of the IRGC-al Qods Brigade’s installations in Iran. It is planned to target training camps and the munitions factories pumping fighters, missiles and roadside bombs to the Iraqi insurgency, Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. Iran is geared up for counteraction. US intelligence estimates that Tehran’s counteraction will likewise be on a limited scale and therefore any US-Iranian military encounter will not be allowed to explode into a major confrontation. Because this US assault is not planned to extend to Iran’s nuclear installations, Tehran is not expected to hit back at distant American targets in the Persian Gulf or at Israel. DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report, however, that Iran’s military preparations for countering an American attack are far broader than envisaged in Washington. Tehran would view a US attack on the IRGC bases as a casus belli and might react in ways and on a scale unanticipated in Washington. Two days ago, Iran’s defense minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar warned: “Iran’s Armed Forces are fully prepared to counter any military attack with any intensity and to make the enemy regret initiating any such incursions.” According to DEBKAfile’s Iranian and military sources, the IRGC had by mid-May completed their preparations for a US missile, air or commando assault on their command centers and bases in reprisal for Iranian intervention in Iraq. These preparations encompass al Qods’ arms, most of them undercover, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sudan. At home, the Revolutionary Guards have evacuated their key bases together with manpower and equipment to regular army sites or temporary quarters in villages located in remote corners of eastern and northern Iran. Their main headquarters and central training center at the Imam Ali University in northern Tehran are deserted except for sentries on the gates. Indoctrination seminaries and dormitories hosting fighting strength in the holy town of Qom are empty, as is the Manzariyah training center east of the capital. Deserted too is the main training camp near Isfahan for insurgents and terrorists from Iraq, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. It is here that they take courses from friendly al Qods training staff on how to sabotage strategic targets such as routes, bridges and military installations, and the activation of the extra-powerful roadside bombs (EFPs) which have had such a deadly effect on American troops in Iraq.
| Iran | Israel | America |

If we are indeed facing the soon fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 & 39, it is more likely that Israel would be the aggressor as it seems that all the Russian, Turkish and Iranian forces are focused on Israel. Of course there could be other areas not covered in prophecy as well that could include the reason why America isn't a clear part of prophecy as well. Time will tell and I'm still watching...

SYRIA: Israeli hopes for a Tehran-Damascus rift collapse Los Angeles Times (May 2008) - Iranian and Syrian officials poured a bucket of ice water this week on Israeli hopes for a rupture in the long-standing Tehran-Damascus relationship. Israeli officials had demanded Syria break ties with Iran in exchange for returning the occupied Golan Heights to Syria. Instead, Syria this week appeared to strengthen its ties with Iran, signing a defense cooperation pact in a showy Tehran photo-op on Tuesday. That same day, Syrian President Bashar Assad told a visiting delegation of British lawmakers that Damascus' relationship with Tehran was not up for negotiation. In reality, despite a lot of media attention, there was never really much chance of a peace deal between Syria and Israel or a break in ties between Damascus and Tehran. At least not anytime soon. Israeli and Syrian leaders admitted this month that the two countries were engaged in peace talks mediated by Turkey. Almost immediately, the Israeli foreign minister said Syria would have to cut ties with Iran, and its allies Hezbollah and Hamas, before Israel would consider making peace and handing back the Golan Heights. A Western diplomat in Damascus closely tracking the indirect Syria-Israel talks bluntly called any hopes of dangling the Golan Heights (a hilly plateau about the size of Los Angeles County) to drive a wedge between Damascus and Tehran "a non-starter." A more realistic strategy might be to try to persuade Syria to temper the behavior of Hamas and Hezbollah, which both fight Israel. "The Syrians won't want to lose Hezbollah, but can moderate Hezbollah," said the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Syrians don't have control over Hamas and Hezbollah, but they have influence. Syria might have veto power." In any case, few insiders believed a breakthrough between Israel and Syria was imminent. The diplomat  said Assad doesn't anticipate any new deals before summer 2009, after President Bush is out of office. "Bashar has been clear that he didn't really want to negotiate. He's preparing everything for the next American administration. If the next American administration is ready to guarantee a deal, then they'll be ready." But Israel may also be part of the problem. A majority of Israelis are reluctant to give up the Golan Heights, which has become a 463-square-mile resort destination as well as a strategic buffer, even for a peace deal with Damascus. Over 41 years of occupation, they've grown to love the Golan Heights.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

US: Iranian warhead blueprint 'alarming' The Jerusalem Post (May 29, 2008) - A ranking International Atomic Energy Agency official called Teheran's possession of a drawing showing how to make part of an atomic warhead "alarming" Thursday and said the onus is on Iran to prove it had not tried to develop nuclear arms, said diplomats attending a closed briefing. The US said the evidence detailed by IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen increased concerns that Teheran had tried to make such weapons. "Today's briefing showed ... strong reasons to suspect that Iran was working covertly and deceitfully at least until recently to build a bomb," Gregory L. Schulte, the chief US delegate to the agency, told reporters. Rejecting the allegation, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, Schulte's Iranian counterpart, again dismissed the evidence as "baseless and fabricated documents and papers." Separately, a senior diplomat suggested the agency was not accepting as fact US intelligence estimates that the Islamic Republic stopped active pursuit of nuclear weapons five years ago. Queried on documents in the agency's possession possibly linked to research in such weapons and bearing dates into early 2004, he told The Associated Press that the IAEA was reserving its judgment on whether they indicated nuclear weapons work past 2003 until it finished its own investigations. The documents, outlined in an IAEA report forwarded Monday to the UN Security Council and agency board members, are part of evidence provided by board member nations to the agency for its investigation into allegations that Iran used the cover of peaceful nuclear activities to conduct research and testing on a nuclear arms program. more…
| Iran | Israel | Gog/Magog |

Turkey In Between: Syria-Israel & Georgia-Russia Poli Gazette (May 27, 2008) - Adding to its much coveted resume as “Europe’s bridge to the Middle East”, Turkey has now been officially recognized as the facilitator of talks between Israel and Syria. Whether or not the Israeli media agrees with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s motivations for publicizing the existence of talks, Turkey can at least shine in the warm spotlight of international recognition for a few weeks. While most Turkish diplomatic activity in the Arab Middle East other than with Iraq follows a mechanical approach, Turkey’s role as a mediator between Israel and Syria is uncharacteristically complex. There exists a very clear logic behind Turkey’s effort to mingle in the affairs of these two countries. Compared to its relationship with neighbor Iran, Turkey’s rapport with Syria is relatively underdeveloped. Perhaps the most significant reason for this is the incredible backwardness of Syria’s Baathist state-controlled economy, which is also responsible for the incredible backwardness of Syria’s regional foreign policy. Syria’s problematic approach last affected Turkey in a dramatic way in 1998. Syria gave refuge to PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, much to the disgrace of Turkish public opinion that had designated Ocalan as a terrorist. Syria would ultimately harbor the Kurdish leader in Damascus until the threat of a Turkish invasion successfully forced his eviction. In comparison, Turkey’s rapport with Israel has proved quite dynamic. Successive Turkish governments and the Turkish military have pursued a symbiotic relationship with Israel despite the risk of alienating Turkey even further in the eyes of the Arab World. Both countries, similarly focused on linking themselves with the West, have cooperated through military exchanges and natural resource transfers. In addition, Turkey hopes to court the sympathy of the Israeli lobby in Washington as a means of counter-balancing the influence of the Armenian lobby on American foreign policy. While no observer could claim that Turkey’s efforts will actually make a significant difference in solving the issues that separate Israel and Syria, Turkey’s actions will help it acquire some additional credibility with pundits who influence EU opinion. This alone could be reason for Turkey to exert its diplomatic energy. The highly involved nature of Turkey’s interest in affairs south of its border stands in tremendous contrast with its attitudes concerning the tumultuous political situation to its north-east. Turkey has chosen a relatively silent course as Georgia struggles to deal with breakaway Abkhazia and omnipresent Russia. (On Monday, the UN announced that a Russian jet did indeed shoot down a Georgian unmanned surveillance drone patrolling over Abkhazia.) Other than its relations with Armenia, which are “very well” defined, Turkey’s diplomatic intentions in the greater Caucasus region and Central Asia have been unclear ever since the failure of its Pan-Turkism initiative in the 1990s. While Turkish construction companies and textile producers have been keen to acquire contracts and conduct foreign direct investment projects, Turkey’s main interest in the region has been its role as a conduit for Central Asian energy exports to Europe and beyond. Turkey’s energy interests in Central Asia have understandably run counter to those of Russia, which are monopolistic by nature. more…
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Iran's Ahmadinejad wants closer Syria defence ties Reuters (May 26, 2008) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Monday for closer defence ties with Syria, the official IRNA news agency reported, a few days after Israel urged Damascus to distance itself from Tehran. "So far Iran's and Syria's joint and mutual relations in various fields have been of utmost usefulness and defence relations must expand to the extent possible," he told visiting Syrian Defence Minister Hassan Turkmani. The IRNA report gave no further details on military cooperation between the two Middle East countries, which the United States accuses of sponsoring terrorism. Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar described Syria on Sunday as a strategic ally. Pieter Wezeman, a researcher on conventional arms transfers at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), said Syria and Iran had military relations but their secretive nature made it difficult to say how substantial they were. He said Iran was believed to supply Syria mainly with ammunition but there were reports of other kinds of military cooperation. "It is extremely difficult to find any reliable information," Wezeman said by telephone from Stockholm. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Ahmadinejad sure Syria will press struggle against Israel AFP (May 26, 2008) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that he remains confident Iran's close ally Syria will keep up the struggle against Israel despite its announcement of renewed peace negotiations. "I am sure that the Syrian leadership will manage the situation with wisdom and will not abandon the front line until the complete removal of the Zionist threats," Ahmadinejad told visiting Syrian Defence Minister Hassan Turkmani. "So far the cooperation between Iran and Syria in different areas has been beneficial for both sides and our defence ties should be expanded as far as possible," the official IRNA news agency quoted the president as saying. Turkmani's visit is the first to Iran by a Syrian official since Syria and Israel announced last Wednesday that they had resumed indirect peace negotiations through Turkish mediators, ending an eight-year freeze. Turkmani held talks on Sunday with his Iranian counterpart Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, during which the Iranian side underlined the importance of "collective security". Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran would continue its longstanding policy of supporting "the oppressed Palestinian people." "Supporting the Palestinian people means supporting regional security, as the Palestinians are in the front line of the Zionists' aggression," he said. Iran does not recognise Israel and has been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Ahmadinejad has drawn international condemnation by calling for the Jewish state to be wiped from the map. On Saturday, Syria rejected any preconditions to the new peace negotiations with Israel involving either breaking its three-decade alliance with Iran or ending its support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups. Israeli officials have in the past conditioned any peace deal with Syria on its agreement to end both. Iranian analysts saw in Turkmani's visit proof that the three-decade-old alliance between Tehran and Damascus remained intact despite the renewed peace negotiations. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

The September War WorldNet Daily (May 23, 2008) - According to a number of sources, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to bring his first reactor on line sometime in September 2008, which is just about in line with what the Israeli Mossad had estimated back in 2003 when the full extent of Iran's secret nuclear program became known. The Iranian announcement came on the heels of a surprise announcement by the government of Israel confirming it had entered into third-party peace talks with Syria's Bashar Assad. The surprising confirmation on Wednesday was the first acknowledged contact between the two parties in eight years, which will be mediated by Turkey. Equally surprising was a statement from the United States saying it had no objection to the talks. Previously, the U.S. had rejected any peace overtures toward Syria as long as it was sponsoring Hezbollah and Hamas. In fact, President Bush seemed to have been blindsided by the news. According to transcripts of an interview he granted to the Jerusalem Post, Bush responded to the news by stammering; "I expect an explanation, but I'm – he made a decision that he made – or no decisions have been made, except the idea of trying to get some dialogue moving, which is – and I know him well, and know that he is as concerned about Israeli security as any other person that's ever been the prime minister of Israel. And so I presume the decision is made." Despite the White House's official welcome of the news, privately, officials were furious. The New York Times quoted an "anonymous" (of course) "administration official" who called Israel's unilateral move "a slap in the face." While Damascus and Jerusalem talk peace, Iranian-backed Hezbollah consolidated the gains it made in fighting against government forces in the streets of Beirut and elsewhere. After six days of mediation between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government, Hezbollah emerged a clear winner in a settlement agreement in which Hezbollah was granted veto rights over the government, affirming its stature as "the preponderant military actor and the super political power in Lebanon," according to political scientist Hilal Khashan of the American University of Beirut. Khashan told the AFP that "it was an excellent deal for the Hezbollah-led opposition and a major defeat for the U.S.-backed government." The deal was brokered by the Qatari government. The Arab League played a major part in securing the deal, with both Syria and Iran declaring their support for Hezbollah's victory. Under the arrangement, Parliament will elect as president the current head of the Lebanese Army, Gen. Michel Suleiman. Gen. Suleiman will then appoint a new government – one in which Hezbollah holds enough seats to veto any decisions it doesn't like – such as disarming Hezbollah. Meanwhile, Israeli military sources say that Iran is continuing to ship weapons and ammunition, via Hezbollah, to the Hamas-occupied Gaza Strip, including rockets, missiles and rocket launchers. According to the Mossad, these shipments have been stepped up in recent months, reaching a peak in March-April. Using fishing boats, Iran has successfully smuggled Iranian-made 120 mm mortars with a range of up to six miles. The Mossad says that the smuggling operation is overseen by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard using Syrian ports and Hezbollah operatives. Meanwhile, back in Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is fighting desperately to keep his job while he is under investigation by police on charges of obtaining money by fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and tax offenses, according to Haartez. And fears are rampant within Israeli circles that Olmert may be considering trading the Golan Heights in exchange for a peace deal he can trumpet to deflect attention away from his legal problems.

If one sits down and connects the dots, one ends up with a very different picture than the one being presented by the mainstream media suggesting the Syrian-Israeli talks are representative of a major breakthrough. It is worth remembering that it was the Persians who invented chess, and Ahmadinejad seems to be controlling all the pieces. In the first place, Ahmadinejad knows that Israel will attack its reactor the moment that they take it on line. He's been arming and training Hamas to serve as its proxy in the event of war, to harass the IDF on its flanks. To the north in Lebanon, Ahmadinejad has succeeded in rearming and re-equipping Hezbollah since the Lebanon War in 2006. The Mossad estimates Hezbollah is stronger now than it was before Israel invaded. Hezbollah has succeeded, for all intents and purposes, in taking over the Lebanese government. Hamas controls all of the Gaza Strip. Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority barely has a handle on the West Bank – and in any event, would turn on Israel the second the opportunity presented itself. Syria's insistence on the return of the Golan Heights as a precondition for peace is a Trojan Horse – particularly considering the timing. It was only last September that Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor that was only weeks from being operational. Syria has built one of the most formidable arsenals of missiles and rockets in the region, all of them aimed at Israel. From the Golan Heights, Syria would control much of northern Israel, as it did prior to losing the Golan to Israel in the Six Days War. Israel is therefore surrounded with Hezbollah and Syria to the north, Hamas on both flanks, with al-Qaida sympathizers flooding in through Egypt and Jordan. Everything is in place for war except the pretext to start things off. Starting up a nuclear reactor will do nicely.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Let's also not forget... Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks

Iran Allows Solana to Visit Tehran to Deliver Nuclear Proposals Bloomberg (May 20, 2008) - Iran has agreed to a trip by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana to deliver a package of incentives aimed at persuading the country to suspend uranium enrichment, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said. Mottaki didn't say when Solana will arrive in Tehran with the latest proposals for Iran's nuclear program from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, according to the state-run Fars news agency. The U.S., the U.K., France, Russia and China, which have veto power at the UN Security Council, were joined by Germany on May 2 in revising an incentive plan developed in 2006. Measures in the initial package included an offer to provide Iran with enriched uranium for power stations in exchange for suspension of its own enrichment efforts. The enhancements to the package haven't been made public. Iran says its nuclear program is needed to produce fuel for power stations, while the U.S. and its allies allege the project is being used as cover for the development of an atomic weapon. Enriched uranium can be used to generate electricity or to make nuclear warheads. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on May 13 that he won't put Iran's "right'' to carry out uranium enrichment on its own soil "up for negotiations.'' Iran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
| Iran | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana |

Iran tells Syria must regain control of Golan YNet News (May 24, 2008) - Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani arrived in Tehran on Saturday evening as part of Damascus' bid to reassure its Iranian ally after resuming peace negotiations with Israel. General Turkmani is scheduled to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Mustafa Mohammad-Najjar, and additional key figures in Tehran. A possible meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not yet been confirmed. In a meeting he held earlier on Saturday with Hamas politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki publically addressed the renewed talks for the first time. "The Golan belongs to Syria and must be returned to its control. The Zionist regime must withdraw from the Golan, and we support Syrian efforts to repossess the Heights." The Syrian defense minister's visit to Tehran follow reports of Ahmadinejad's outrage over the contact between Israel and Syria. Sources close to the Iranian president told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily that Ahmadinejad has made his discontent over the clandestine negotiations well known. He described the talks as a "flagrant violation" of the mutual commitments between Syria and Iran. Meanwhile, Damascus as reiterated its rejection of Israel's demand that it sever ties with Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas as a key condition of any peace agreement. During a joint press conference Mashaal held with Mottaki after their meeting, the exiled Hamas leader was careful not to criticize the negotiations. He did say however that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lacks the political might to make the moves necessary for peace with Syria. "There is great skepticism concerning (Israel's) seriousness to return the Golan," Mashaal said. "It's maneuvering and playing all the (negotiation) tracks – this is a well known game and besides, Olmert's weakness will not allow him to take this step." He was referring to the current ongoing investigation against Olmert, who has recently been suspected of receiving money unlawfully. Mashaal said he was sure the renewed talks would not come at the expense of the Palestinian track.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Related News: Syria refuses to sever ties with Iran

Hezbollah in dangerous territory BBC News (May 16, 2008) - Hezbollah's lightning offensive against West Beirut and the Druze mountains brought home violently what everybody already knew: that it is far stronger than any other force in the land, including the Lebanese Army. Its advances on the ground, and the Western-backed government's humiliating capitulation over its two rescinded decisions, were hailed in the Shia areas as glorious victories, and celebrated with jubilation. In one way, the Hezbollah escalation and the ensuing crisis has helped to unblock the deadlock that has paralysed Lebanese politics for the past 18 months. It triggered an Arab League initiative, led by Qatar, to defuse the crisis. The initiative provided the vehicle for an agreement on the immediate start of a political dialogue, something that has been absent for quite some time. But the full consequences of the worst violence since the civil war in the 1970s and 1980s have yet to be gauged. So too has the extent to which Hezbollah's undoubted supremacy on the ground can translate into political gains. The onslaught unleashed by the Hezbollah leader, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, just minutes after his televised address on 8 May, saw his movement plunge along a bloody and dangerous course he always vowed it would never follow. Hezbollah crushed all opposition in West Beirut from Sunni supporters of the government in a matter of hours on that Thursday night. On 11 May, it pounded the hills south-east of Beirut until the Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, agreed to lay down arms and hand over to the Lebanese Army. But Hezbollah had turned its guns against fellow-Lebanese, something Hassan Nasrallah said would never happen. It also stirred up a hornets' nest of sectarian hatreds and very real fears of another outbreak of uncontainable civil strife. Hassan Nasrallah always reassured those anxious about Hezbollah's growing power that he would never allow that to happen. During the brief period when his fighters and a motley array of allied Syrian-backed militias left over from the civil war erupted into the streets of West Beirut, they burned a television station and a newspaper office, and ransacked and closed down other media outlets owned by their adversaries, especially the Sunni leader Saad Hariri. That led to fears among many Lebanese that what was under threat was not just the political balance, but a way of life - the strong Lebanese tradition of media freedom and social liberalism that somehow survived all previous upheavals, and made Lebanon for decades a haven for the region's political exiles. So Hezbollah and its allies now enter the political contest hoping that the message of their military "victories" against vastly inferior forces will mean a greater chance of getting what they want - at least veto power in a new national unity government, an issue that has snagged all previous efforts to reach agreement. Hezbollah won two elements in the current package agreement mediated by the Arab delegation:

  • The western-backed government formally retracted the two decisions it had taken on 6 May, outlawing Hizbollah's private communications network and reassigning the chief of security at Beirut airport over the alleged deployment of Hezbollah spy cameras overlooking the main runway
  • The government side also agreed to an immediate dialogue, as insisted on by Hassan Nasrallah

But those immediate gains for Hezbollah and its allies were balanced by two elements in the Arab-mediated agreement positive for the government side, possibly implying that Hezbollah's political position has been damaged by its use of resistance arms in the domestic arena and the Pandora's box that swung open as a result. These were:

  • A pledge to refrain from resorting or returning to violence in pursuit of political gains - a clear reference to Hezbollah's behaviour over the previous week
  • Agreement on a parallel dialogue on spreading state sovereignty throughout the country, and defining the state's relationship with "all organisations" - a reference to Hezbollah and its armed presence

So the issue of Hezbollah's weaponry, which it - unlike all other militias - was allowed to keep at the end of the civil war on the grounds that it was a resistance movement against Israeli occupation, is now centre-stage, as a result of its being turned against fellow-Lebanese. After the bloodshed, hatred and sectarian tensions of the past week, many Lebanese are fearful that a breakdown of the dialogue now starting could see Hezbollah and its allies back on the warpath in search of a clean political sweep. The consequences, already foreshadowed by the convulsions which triggered the Arab initiative, could be disastrous. more...
| Iran | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Deal seeks to end Lebanon strife BBC (May 15, 2008) - Arab League mediators in Lebanon say they have clinched an agreement to end the recent fighting, which raised fears of a second civil war breaking out. They said the opposition would end sit-in protests in Beirut and allow the city's airport and port to reopen. Fighting between pro-government groups and the Hezbollah-led opposition broke out last week leaving at least 65 dead. The breakthrough came a day after the Lebanese government withdrew plans aimed at curbing Hezbollah. In what correspondents called a climb-down, ministers rescinded decisions to shut down of Hezbollah's private phone system and to remove a head of airport security. These moves last week triggered the worst violence since Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war. The head of the Arab League delegation, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Hamad al-Thani, announced a breakthrough on Thursday after two days of peace talks in Beirut. The mediators said the rival parties would go to Qatar on Friday to try to elect a president - Lebanon has had no president since November - and form a national unity government. The two sides have already agreed to appoint Lebanese army commander Gen Michel Suleiman as president, but must resolve the other issues first. Lebanon has been suspended in political crisis since late 2006 when the Hezbollah-led opposition left a national unity coalition cabinet, demanding more power and a veto over government decisions. As news of a deal broke, mechanical diggers began removing roadblocks set up last week by militants on the route to Beirut's international airport, paving the way for the first commercial flight to land in a week. Naim Qassam, the deputy leader of Hezbollah, a mainly Shia political and militant movement, earlier pledged it would return the situation in Lebanon back "to normal". The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says the Lebanese know that issues like the make-up of a new government have defied all previous efforts to reach agreement. But they will cautiously welcome the improved situation on the ground, while keeping their fingers crossed that the dialogue will produce a stable political situation, he says. Lebanon's Western-backed governing coalition said last week's violence was a coup attempt by Hezbollah aimed at restoring the influence of the two regional powers, Syria and Iran.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Hezbollah 'redrawing' Mideast map Washington Times (May 12, 2008) - Hezbollah's dramatic gains in Lebanon last week are just part of a regional process that began last year in the Gaza Strip and will continue in Jordan and Egypt, a Hamas official in the West Bank told The Washington Times. Sheik Yazeeb Khader, a Ramallah-based Hamas political activist and editor, said militant groups across the Middle East are gaining power at the expense of U.S.-backed regimes, just as Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. "What happened in Gaza in 2007 is an achievement; now it is happening in 2008 in Lebanon. It's going to happen in 2009 in Jordan and it's going to happen in 2010 in Egypt," Sheik Khader said in an interview. "We are seeing a redrawing of the map of the Middle East where the forces of resistance and steadfastness are the ones moving the things on the ground." His remarks highlight how a growing alliance linking Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah straddles the Shi'ite-Sunni rift. The notion of new countries falling under Islamist influence reflects a goal of Hamas' parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood, of replacing secular Arab regimes with Islamist governments. In the same way that Hamas' victory over the Palestinian Authority security forces in Gaza fighting last June profoundly disturbed neighboring Arab states, fighting in Lebanon yesterday and last week has sent shock waves throughout the Middle East and spurred an emergency meeting of the Arab League. The Arab League is sending Secretary-General Amr Moussa to mediate among the Lebanese government, Hezbollah and Sunni supporters of the government. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Hamas government in Gaza, took a different approach to the standoff in Lebanon by saying that the fighting primarily served Israel. Mr. Abu Zuhri called on each side to engage in dialogue instead of fighting. But several supporters of Hamas in Gaza were comparing Hezbollah's advances into Sunni neighborhoods of Beirut to Hamas' overrunning of security forces loyal to Mr. Abbas. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | America |

Ahmadinejad: Israel to be 'swept away soon' The Earth Times (May 13, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Israel would "be soon swept away" from the Palestinian Territories by the Palestinians. It is the second time within less than three years that the Iranian president predicted the eradication of the Jewish state. The first time was in 2005 when Ahmadinejad hoped that Israel would be eradicated from the Middle East map. "This terrorist and criminal state is backed by foreign powers, but this regime would soon be swept away by the Palestinians," Ahmadinejad said in a press conference in Tehran. Referring to worldwide celebrations for the 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation, he said that "it would be futile to hold a birthday ceremony for something which is already dead." "As far as the regional countries are concerned, this regime does not exist," Ahmadinejad added. The Iranian president said last week that the anniversary feasts could not save this "rotten and stinking corpse." Ahmadinejad caused international outrage in the past by hoping for the eradication of Israel, the relocation of the Jewish state to Europe or Alaska and questioning the historic dimensions of the Holocaust.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Iran's Ambassador to Syria says Israel in worst ever condition Mathaba (May 13, 2008) - President's Advisor and IRI Ambassador in Syria said here Monday occupying regime of Holy Qods is currently in its worst ever condition, getting weaker with passage of each day, and moving towards extinction. According to IRNA correspondent in Syria, Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ahmad Moussavi made the comment here on Monday night at the opening ceremony of a conference titled "Repatriation, A Sacred And Legitimate Right", sponsored by Damascus based Arab Writers Union. Moussavi added, "Israel has ever since its establishment been serving the colonialist, and later on neo-colonialist Western powers as a tool for strengthening their hegemony in this sensitive region." The Iranian diplomat added, "The US President assumes that the entire nations in this region are waiting for him to issue commands and obey them, but the Americans are today beginning to realize that not only that has been a simple minded assumption, but also the US and Israeli plots for the region are facing humiliating defeats in the region one after the other." Referring to the existence of numerous conflicts and difficulties within the Islamic and Arab worlds, he said, "Despite all those problems and challenges, the root cause of most of which is US and Israeli plots, the victory of Muslims in the long run is easy to predict." The Islamic Republic of Iran's ambassador to Syria emphasized that freedom and liberation cannot be achieved without tolerating the hardships of Jihad (sacred defensive war), resistance, and unity. He added, "In order to achieve independence, freedom, and competence in facing the ever increasing challenges in today's world, the world Muslims need to get acquainted with the culture of resistance, and to keep alight the light of hope for embracing final victory in their hearts." Hojjatoleslam Moussavi who was addressing the audience at the conference on the verge of the 60th wretched anniversary of Israel's illegitimate establishment meanwhile warned the Muslims to beware of the incessant cultural onslaught of the West. He added, "The main objective of this onslaught is annihilation of the Islamic and indigenous values of our nations, as well as braking the bonds of unity within the Islamic and Arab societies." The Zionists occupied the major part of Palestine's lands on May 15th, 1948 and in 1967 seized the entire territory of that oppressed nation. The Palestinians refer to the latter day, when they lost their lands, became homeless, and were broadly massacred by the Zionists as "Yaum ul-Nikba" (The Wretched Day), remembering it as the most catastrophic day in their history, but the illegitimate Zionist state celebrates the same day annually. Mousavi then referred to the occupation of Palestine initially by the British forces, and then handing it to the agents of the International Zionism, who facilitated for the three waves of the world Jews' migration to that holy land as the most perilous plot hatched n the West against the Islamic World. He emphasized, "Accusing the world Muslims of nurturing terrorists and of having terrorist tendencies today, is a stage in continuation of the same nasty plot." Mousavi said, "The late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (P) considered defending the Palestinian nation, and their ideals a top priority of Iran's foreign policy. Iran's ambassador to Damascus added, "A couple of signs of remaining faithful to that policy is his announcement of the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan as the International Qods Day, closure f Israel's embassy in Tehran, and establishment of Palestine's Embassy in its place soon after the victory of the Islamic Revolution." The two-day conference is held in the presence of a large number of Iranian and Arab Alims and thinkers. Among the prominent Arab personalities at the conference there are the head of the Arab Writers Union, Hussain Jum'ah, Deputy Secretary General of Palestine's Islamic Jihad Movement, Amal, and head of Iran-Arab Friendship Committee, Adnan Abu-Nasser.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Hezbollah to end Beirut seizure BBC News (May 10, 2008) - The army revoked two key government measures that had led to four days of street fighting between the two sides, leaving at least 37 people dead. But it has vowed to continue civil disobedience until its demands are met. The fighting was sparked by a government move to shut down Hezbollah's telecoms network and the removal of the chief of security at Beirut airport for alleged Hezbollah sympathies. Earlier, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora called on the army to restore law and order, saying the country would not fall to Hezbollah after four days of street battles which saw the Shia movement drive supporters of the government out of western Beirut. In his first response to Hezbollah's de facto takeover of the west of the capital, Mr Siniora said his government would never declare war against the Shia group. The latest violence amounts to a humiliating blow to the government, which appears to have badly overplayed its hand in moving to close Hezbollah's telecoms network on Tuesday, our correspondent says. more...
| Iran | Islam |

Hezbollah gunmen seize large areas of Beirut Associated Press (May 9, 2008) - Shiite Hezbollah gunmen seized control of key parts of Beirut from Sunnis loyal to the U.S.-backed government Friday, a dramatic show-of-force certain to strengthen the Iranian-allied group’s hand as it fights for dominance in Lebanon’s political deadlock. An ally of Hezbollah said the group intended to pull back, at least partially, from the areas its gunmen occupied overnight and Friday morning — signaling Hezbollah likely does not intend a full-scale, permanent takeover of Sunni Muslim parts of Beirut, similar to the Hamas takeover of Gaza a year ago. The clashes eased by Friday evening as Lebanon’s army began peacefully moving into some areas where Hezbollah gunmen had a presence. But as Hezbollah gunmen celebrated in the capital’s empty streets — including marching down Hamra Street, one of its glitziest shopping lanes — it was clear that the show-of-force would have wide implications for Lebanon and the entire Mideast. Lebanon’s army largely stood aside as the Shiite militiamen scattered their opponents and occupied large swaths of the capital’s Muslim sector early Friday — a sign of how tricky Lebanon’s politics have become. In one instance, the army stood aside as Shiite militiamen burned the building of the newspaper of their main Sunni rival — acting only to evacuate people and then allow firefighters later to put out the blaze. The army has pledged to keep the peace but not take sides in the long political deadlock — which pits Shiite Hezbollah and a handful of allies including some Christian groups, against the U.S.-backed government, which includes Christian and Sunni Muslims. Three days of street battles and gunfights capped by Friday’s Hezbollah move have killed at least 14 people and wounded 20 — the country’s worst sectarian fighting since the 1975-1990 civil war. Three more people were killed in two separate incidents on Friday after the Hezbollah takeover. Two of them were Druse allies of Hezbollah who died in a shooting in a hilly suburb southeast of the capital late Friday, security officials said. For Beirut residents and those across the Mideast, it was a grim reminder of that troubled time when Beirut was carved into enclaves ruled by rival factions and car bombs and snipers devastated the capital. more...
| Iran | Islam |

Ahmadinejad: Israel a 'stinking corpse' facing annihilation The Jerusalem Post (May 9, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that the state of Israel is a "stinking corpse" that is destined to disappear, the French news agency AFP reported. "Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as having said. "Today the reason for the Zionist regime's existence is questioned and this regime is on its way to annihilation." Ahmadinejad further stated that Israel "has reached the end like a dead rat after being slapped by the Lebanese" - referring to the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Given Bible prophecy's stance on Iran's future actions in Ezekiel 38,39 I would take his rhetoric seriously. However, Israel was already a pile of bones, but God brought them back together again just a few chapters prior to the foretelling of Iran's attack on Israel.

Ezekiel 37:1-6; 11-14
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD...
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

And God has made it clear that just as the bones coming together again was a sign to the world that God is who He says He is and means what He says, so too will the destruction of the Magog invaders in the mountains of Israel be a witness to the world that He is God.

Ezekiel 39:6-8
And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.

While the future does look bleak at times for Israel even after God intervenes on her behalf, in the end the promise that Israel will never again be removed from the Promised Land will be true, just like the rest of God's Word is. It is those that come against the Lord who will be the "stinking corpses" and will not receive the promise of eternal life through faith in Yeshua the Christ. Faith is not blind, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. May your faith be strengthened in these increasingly deceptive times as you see God's Word come to pass in this generation.

Violence rekindles fears of Lebanese civil war MSNBC (May 8, 2008) - Shiite Hezbollah supporters and the Lebanese government’s Sunni backers clashed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades Thursday in battles that spread through Beirut’s streets soon after Hezbollah’s leader vowed to fight any attempt to disarm his men. Lebanese security officials said two people were killed and eight wounded in the sectarian clashes. The violence first erupted in Muslim West Beirut, where masked gunmen on street corners opened fire along Corniche Mazraa, a major thoroughfare that has become a demarcation line between the two sides. It spread to Khandaq el-Ghamiq, a neighborhood adjacent to downtown, which is home to the government’s offices. Shootings and explosions were reported by witnesses and television stations in the Aisha Bakkar neighborhood near the office of Lebanon’s Sunni spiritual leader, who is allied with the government. Gunfire and explosions were also heard in a nearby district where the opposition-aligned parliament speaker has his official residence. Troops in armored carriers had earlier moved in to West Beirut to separate people who were trading insults and throwing stones at each other, but the troops did not attempt to stop the street battles that then broke out. The army, which has been struggling to contain the disturbances, warned of the consequences to the country and the military. “The continuation of the situation as is is a clear loss for all and harms the unity of the military institution,” a statement said. The clashes have brought back memories of the devastating 1975-1990 civil war that has left lasting scars on Lebanon. Beirut residents are now seeing fresh demarcation lines, burning tires and roadblocks. The army has largely stayed out of the broader political struggle between Hezbollah and the government for fear of exacerbating the situation. The army’s commander is the two factions’ consensus candidate for president. Gen. Michel Suleiman so far has advised the government not to declare a state of emergency. The clashes came close on the heels of a defiant speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who said his Iranian-backed militant organization would respond with force to any attacks. “Those who try to arrest us, we will arrest them,” he said. “Those who shoot at us, we will shoot at them. The hand raised against us, we will cut it off.” It was the second day of fighting that has turned some city neighborhoods into battlegrounds and spilled over to other parts of the country. more...
| Iran | Islam | Gog/Magog |

What does this have to do with Gog/Magog? As was reported a while back, Southern Lebanon has been a location with many underground bunkers storing munitions and the Magog attack is supposed to come from the North into Israel. That there were Russian and Turkish "peacekeeping troops" sent in after the 2006 fighting with Israel and these bunkers are storing weapons, the instability in the nation now would seem to tilt into the hands of Hezbollah who is supported by Iran, a major player in the attack on Israel that God prevents.

Iran clerics rebuke Ahmadinejad over 'hidden imam' (May 7, 2008) - Clerics have told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stick to more worldly issues after he was quoted as saying the "hidden imam" of Shiite Islam was directing Iran. Ahmadinejad has always been a devotee of the Mahdi, the twelfth imam of Shiite Islam, who Shiites believe disappeared more than a thousand years ago and who will return one day to usher in a new era of peace and harmony. But in a speech to theology students broadcast by state television on Monday, Ahmadinejad went further than ever before in emphasising his belief that the Mahdi is playing a critical role in Iran's day-to-day politics. "The Imam Mahdi is in charge of the world and we see his hand directing all the affairs of the country," he said in the speech, which appears to date from last month but has only now been broadcast. "We must solve Iran's internal problems as quickly as possible. Time is lacking. A movement has started for us to occupy ourselves with our global responsibilities, which are arriving with great speed." Two leading clerics retorted that Ahmadinejad would be better off concentrating on Iran's social problems -- most notably its double-digit inflation -- than indulging in such mystical rhetoric. "If Ahmadinejad wants to say that the hidden imam is supporting the decisions of the government, it is not true," sniped Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghadam, the spokesman of the conservative Association of Combatant Clerics. "For sure, the hidden imam does not approve of inflation of 20 percent, the high cost of living and numerous other errors," he said, according to the Kargozaran daily. Ali Asghari, a member of the conservative Hezbollah faction in parliament, told the president not to link the management of the country to the imam. "Ahmadinejad would do better to worry about social problems like inflation ... and other terrestrial affairs," Etemad Melli daily quoted him as saying. Since becoming president in 2005, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly stated that his government is paving the way for the return of the Mahdi and chided his foes for not believing that his return is imminent.
| Iran | Islam |

Germany 'business as usual' with Iran The Jerusalem Post (May 5, 2008) - Critics of Germany's pro-business policy toward Iran flocked to a conference in Berlin that for the first time brought together Germans, Iranians-in-exile and Israelis for two days of panel discussions that concluded late Saturday. The strong trade relations between Iran and Germany are a source of great concern for the speakers, who argued that Germany's overly cordial political and economic relations with Teheran are endangering the security of Israel and stability in the Middle East. The nonprofit Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin organized the conference. Dr. Matthias Küntzel, a German political scientist who specializes in German-Iranian relations, revealed that a controversial meeting between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari and his German counterpart, Reinhard Silberberg, took place in April. Küntzel cited a report in the Tehran Times from April 19 in which "Silberberg noted that the two countries enjoy good relations and called for continuation of dialogue between Iranian and German officials." According to an April 20 report in the Persian Journal, Silberberg invited Safari for a three-day visit that entailed meetings with leading German politicians and business officials. A German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post, "A meeting took place with Silberberg" and Safari in Berlin on April 16, but the discussion did not address "economic questions." Instead, "difficult questions involving Iran" were raised. Silberberg reiterated Germany's two-track Iranian position emphasizing sanctions and dialogue, she added. A lighting-rod issue at the conference was the yawning gap between Chancellor Angela Merkel's speech to the Knesset on March 18 declaring Israel's national security to be part of Germany's "national interest," and her government's refusal to clamp down on German firms supplying valuable technology for Iran's infrastructure. According to the Iran Press TV Web site, representatives from the German Economics Ministry and German industry met with Safari during his visit and "the two sides discussed ways to expand economic cooperation and agreed that a German delegation would visit Iran to follow up agreements already signed between Teheran and Berlin." more...
| Iran | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Iran completely stops conducting oil transactions in US dollars USA Today (April 30, 2008) - A top Oil Ministry official says Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer, has completely stopped conducting all its oil transactions in U.S. dollars. Iran has dramatically reduced dependence on the dollar over the past year in the face of increasing U.S. pressure on its financial system and the fall in the value of the American currency. Oil is priced in U.S. dollars on the world market and the currency's depreciation has concerned producers because it has contributed to rising crude prices and eroded the value of their dollar reserves. Iran has already said it was shifting its oil sales out of the dollar into other currencies. Oil Ministry official Hojjatollah Ghanimifard said Wednesday all oil transactions are now being carried out in euros and yen.
| Iran | America | Economic Crisis |

Iran tells Russia of plan to solve world problems (April 28, 2008) - Iran's top national security official on Monday held talks with his Russian counterpart about a new Iranian package aimed at solving world problems, including the nuclear standoff with the West. "The package is about the great questions of the world and the nuclear question could be the subject of discussion," Iran's top national security official Saeed Jalili said after talks with Russia's Valentin Sobolev. Jalili gave no further details over the contents of the package, which appears to be an all-embracing attempt to solve the problems of the world rather than a specific offer to end the nuclear crisis. "Our approach could be a good basis for negotiation between the influential powers of the world," he said. The package appears to emphasise what Iran sees as its growing power in the world and the supposed decline of the great world powers such as Britain and the United States. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said in recent weeks that Iran is the most powerful nation in the world and capitalist superpowers are on the verge of collapse. Ahmadinejad appointed his close ally Jalili as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council in a surprise move last year, replacing the more moderate Ali Larijani. "The world is no longer unilateral," Jalili told a news conference alongside Sobolev, who is the acting head of Russia's security council. "There are different powers in the world. Decisions should be made taking into account these different powers and the capacity and power of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the world," said Jalili. He added that the package would not yet be made public. It would be a major surprise if the package contained any concession from Iran to break the deadlock in the nuclear standoff as Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said Tehran will not cede an inch in the dispute. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog |

According to my understanding of scripture and the timing of events, Iran is very close to the prophesied attack on Israel, Ezekiel 38,39, in which God will intervene and destroy the attackers. Ahmadinejad's feeling of power in seeing the decline of Western power could lead to confidence in attacking Israel and the world not doing anything about it. There is also the possibility that they are led to attack because of an Israeli pre-emptive attack on Damascus, Isaiah 17, which would give them even more confidence to attack. Keep watching!

Israel: UNIFIL is hiding information about Hezbollah from Security Council Haaretz (April 28, 2008) - The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is intentionally concealing information about Hezbollah activities south of the Litani River in Lebanon to avoid conflict with the group, senior sources in Jerusalem have said. In the last six months there have been at least four cases in which UNIFIL soldiers identified armed Hezbollah operatives, but did nothing and did not submit full reports on the incidents to the UN Security Council. The Israel Defense Forces and the Foreign Ministry are reportedly very angry about UNIFIL's actions in recent months, especially about the fact that its commander, Major General Claudio Graziano, is said to be leniently interpreting his mission, as assigned by Security Council Resolution 1701, passed at the end of the Second Lebanon War. Senior IDF officials said recently behind closed doors that Graziano is "presenting half-truths so as to avoid embarrassment and conflict with Hezbollah," and that Resolution 1701 has been increasingly eroded in recent months. A senior government source in Jerusalem said that, "There is an attempt by various factors in the UN to mislead the Security Council and whitewash everything having to do with the strengthening of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon." The source also said, "The policy of cover-ups and whitewashing will not last long and, hopefully, now that the concealing of information has been revealed, things will change." Israeli anger reached boiling point over a week ago after the release of a new report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with regard to another Lebanon-related Security Council resolution, 1559. The report briefly mentioned an incident at the beginning of March in which UNIFIL soldiers encountered unidentified armed men, and included no additional details. Officials in Israel, familiar with the incident, reportedly were aware that the Security Council had not been apprised of numerous details of the incident. A day after the release of the report, Haaretz revealed that the incident described in the report had actually been a clash between UNIFIL and armed Hezbollah activists. The latter, driving a truck full of explosives, threatened the Italian UNIFIL battalion with weapons. Instead of using force as required by their mandate, the UN soldiers abandoned the site. A diplomatic source at the UN told Haaretz that senior officials in UNIFIL and in the UN Secretariat brought heavy pressure to bear to have the incident erased from the report or at least to blur it. When the incident was made public, UNIFIL was forced to admit that it had indeed occurred and to request Lebanon's assistance in investigating it. UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane said that during the incident, which took place near the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon, five armed men had threatened UNIFIL troops. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Report: Hezbollah man says new attack on Israel is question of 'when, not if' Haaretz (April 27, 2008) - Two years after the Second Lebanon War, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization has bolstered its recruitment efforts at an unprecedented rate in preparation for a fresh war with Israel, The Guardian reported Sunday. The report quoted an unnamed Hezbollah fighter as saying: "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah [Hezbollah chief] commands us" to attack. According to the report, the Islamist group has of late been sending "hundreds, if not thousands" of recruits to training camps in Lebanon, Syria and Iran in ancticipation of conflict with Israel. "The villages in the south are empty of men," an international official was quoted as saying. "They are all gone, training in Bekaa, Syria and Iran." Israel and the Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in the summer of 2006, sparked by the militant group's cross-border raid and abduction of two Israel Defense Forces reservists. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Israeli envoy to UN calls Carter 'a bigot' for meeting Meshal Haaretz (April 25, 2008) - Israel's ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday called former President Jimmy Carter "a bigot" for meeting with the leader of the militant Hamas movement in Syria. Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, "went to the region with soiled hands and came back with bloody hands after shaking the hand of Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas," Ambassador Dan Gillerman told a luncheon briefing for reporters. The diplomat was questioned about problems facing his country during a wide-ranging discussion with reporters lasting more than an hour. The briefing was sponsored by The Israel Project, a Washington-based, media-oriented advocacy group. The ambassador's harsh words for Carter came days after the ex-president met with Meshal for seven hours in Damascus to negotiate a cease-fire with Gaza's Hamas rulers. Carter then called Meshal on Monday to try to get him to agree to a one-month truce without conditions, but the Hamas leader rejected the idea. The ambassador called last weekend's encounter "a very sad episode in American history." He said it was "a shame" to see Carter, who had done "good things" as a former president, "turn into what I believe to be a bigot." Reacting to the ambassador's comments, former Meretz chairman MK Yossi Beilin on Friday urged the state to recall Gillerman from his post. Telephone calls by The Associated Press to two Atlanta numbers for Carter were not immediately returned Thursday. During Carter's visit, Gillerman said, Hamas "was shelling our cities and maiming and injuring and wounding Israeli babies and Israeli children." The ambassador noted that Hamas is armed and trained by Iran, whose president once called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." "The real danger, the real problem is not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the real threat is Iran," he said. ... Gillerman called Syria a "destabilizing influence" in the Middle East. "You see Syria's hosting, very hospitably and warmly, over 10 terror organizations in Damascus," the ambassador said, adding that the country also supports Hezbollah, an anti-Israeli Shiite group in Lebanon with close ties to Iran and Syria. "Basically, Syria and Iran, together with Hamas and Hezbollah, are the main axes of terror and evil in the world," the Israeli ambassador said. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

If Israeli intelligence warns of a serious threat from those 10 terror organizations in Damascus, and Syria's nuclear reactor ambitions are laid bare, more here and here, could this lead to Israel preemptively attacking Damascus as stated in Isaiah 17? Keep in mind that Israel's existence is at stake as far as the secular state is concerned. Many of their neighbors are vying for their destruction, will she react? Keep watching.

Al Qaeda No. 2: Attacks on Western nations in works CNN (April 22, 2008) - Al Qaeda still has plans to target Western countries involved in the Iraq war, Osama bin Laden's chief deputy warns in an audiotape released Tuesday to answer questions posed by followers. The voice in the lengthy file posted on an Islamic Web site could not be immediately confirmed as al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri's. But it sounded like past audiotapes from the terror leader, and the posting bore the logo of As-Sahab, al Qaeda's official media arm. The two-hour message is billed as the second installment of al-Zawahiri's answers to more than 900 questions submitted on extremist Internet sites by al Qaeda supporters, critics and journalists in December. Responding to a question of whether the terror group had plans to attack Western countries that participated in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and subsequent war, al-Zawahiri said, "My answer is, yes. We think that any country that joined aggression on Muslims must be deterred." Al-Zawahiri also denied a conspiracy theory that Israel carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., and he blamed Iran and Shiite Hezbollah for spreading the idea to discredit the Sunni al Qaeda's achievement. Al-Zawahiri accused Hezbollah's al-Manar television of starting the rumor. "The purpose of this lie is clear -- (to suggest) that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no else did in history. Iranian media snapped up this lie and repeated it," he said. "Iran's aim here is also clear -- to cover up its involvement with America in invading the homes of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq," he added. "Iran's aim here is also clear -- to cover up its involvement with America in invading the homes of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq," he added. Iran cooperated with the United States in the 2001 U.S. assault on Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban, an al Qaeda ally. The comments reflected al-Zawahiri's increasing criticism of Iran, which al-Zawahiri has accused in recent messages of seeking to extend its power in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and through its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon. Until recent months, he had not often mentioned the Islamic republic. Al Qaeda has previously claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. The anti-Iranian rhetoric could reflect an attempt to exploit majority Sunnis' fears of Shiite Iran's influence in the region and depict al Qaeda as the main force opposing it. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America |

I would like to add regarding September 11, 2001 that I have some valid suspicions that more than Al Qaeda was involved and the question arises from what we all saw that day. Thousands of man-hours go into preparing buildings to be brought straight down within their own footprint, with precisely placed and timed charges in strategic areas so that the buildings don't topple into their surrounding neighbors. How is it that three buildings in the course of one day all fell with that same precision without all the man-hours necessary to bring other buildings down with that kind of precision?

Keeping in mind that we don't fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places, and given the result of the attacks on that day in taking freedoms in the name of peace and security and intensified global harmonization of laws toward that same end, could it be that those pushing for a global control have players on both sides of the field, creating the chaos then providing the answers to that chaos through government? For Al Qaeda, it is in their best interest to claim responsibility and those who had to put the time into the precise bringing down of those three buildings have it in their best interest to let them take responsibility for it. There is some questions I still have as to their connection to the CIA. And the history of the CIA in things like the Iran-Contra affair seems to have been involved in much of the foundation of current conflicts. The Bible says that in the end times there would be a global government headed by the man of sin centered in Europe. We are marching toward that legal control right now through the war on terror and other things such as free-trade through NAFTA and the WTO. America is ceding sovereignty to Europe while Canada and the US have signed an agreement so that in the event of an emergency, Canadian military forces can be deployed in America and visa-versa. Part of the design of the current system is to unite military and civilian authorities in the event of an emergency.

I don't like what I'm seeing and while I don't think there is anything we can do, we are told to watch and so as a watchman I share with you what I'm seeing, pretty or not. I have no political agenda as I trust few of them and even then cannot be sure. I try to judge by the fruits of their labors. BTW, I'm not saying our whole government is corrupt, but I am saying that there are elements with great power within government that know the ropes and how to remain hidden in the shadows of government. Government is necessary according to the Bible, but in the end times, that system will be handed to and headed by a dictator who will have the destruction of mankind in mind. These are just more signs leading to the end prophesied, now seen in greater detail as they unfold around us. We're still in the stages that can be dismissed by many, but I believe that will soon change. This Biblical foundation separate from all the conspiracy information, in combination with what is happening today, leads me to speak up about it and encourage you to keep watching! There is hope for them that love God, I encourage you to get to know Him if you don't already! While we watch events unfold, remember that Yeshua is our true focus, the rest are just signs of the times for our awareness.

Iran: We'll 'eliminate Israel' if it launches attack The Jerusalem Post (April 15, 2008) - Iran will eliminate Israel if it attacks the Islamic Republic, Iran's deputy army chief warned Tuesday in words conjuring up Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threats to wipe Israel off the map. "Should Israel take any action against Iran, we will eliminate Israel from the scene of the universe," Gen. Muhammad Reza Ashtiani said in Teheran on Tuesday. Ashtiani's statement followed Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's comment last week warning Iran that any attack on Israel would result in the "destruction of the Iranian nation." Ashtiani claimed Israel was "very vulnerable" and dismissed allegations that Iran was worried about Israeli maneuvers. "Due to its special conditions, Israel is very vulnerable in the region," he said. "The aggressors will face a crushing response." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev responded by saying "these hateful and extreme statements from the Iranian leadership are unfortunately routine. The sad reality is that these statements expose the mind set and political agenda of the leadership in Teheran. Unfortunately these hateful words are backed up by very dangerous actions." Foreign Ministry spokesman Aryeh Mekel said that these comments illustrate the need for the international community to "work with more determination" and take steps to keep Iran, which is threatening to destroy another UN member state, from obtaining nuclear weapons. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

I believe Iran will follow through on this threat. However, I also believe God will follow through with His promised intervention when it takes place as well.

A Mystery in the Middle East Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (April 8, 2008) - The Arab-Israeli region of the Middle East is filled with rumors of war. That is about as unusual as the rising of the sun, so normally it would not be worth mentioning. But like the proverbial broken clock that is right twice a day, such rumors occasionally will be true. In this case, we don’t know that they are true, and certainly it’s not the rumors that are driving us. But other things — minor and readily explicable individually — have drawn our attention to the possibility that something is happening. The first thing that drew our attention was a minor, routine matter. Back in February, the United States started purchasing oil for its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The SPR is a reserve of crude oil stored in underground salt domes. Back in February, it stood at 96.2 percent of capacity, which is pretty full as far as we are concerned. But the U.S. Department of Energy decided to increase its capacity. This move came in spite of record-high oil prices and the fact that the purchase would not help matters. It also came despite potential political fallout, since during times like these there is generally pressure to release reserves. Part of the step could have been the bureaucracy cranking away, and part of it could have been the feeling that the step didn’t make much difference. But part of it could have been based on real fears of a disruption in oil supplies. By itself, the move meant nothing. But it did cause us to become thoughtful. Also in February, someone assassinated Imad Mughniyah, a leader of Hezbollah, in a car bomb explosion in Syria. It was assumed the Israelis had killed him, although there were some suspicions the Syrians might have had him killed for their own arcane reasons. In any case, Hezbollah publicly claimed the Israelis killed Mughniyah, and therefore it was expected the militant Shiite group would take revenge. In the past, Hezbollah responded not by attacking Israel but by attacking Jewish targets elsewhere, as in the Buenos Aires attacks of 1992 and 1994. In March, the United States decided to dispatch the USS Cole, then under Sixth Fleet command, to Lebanese coastal waters. Washington later replaced it with two escorts from the Nassau (LHA-4) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), reportedly maintaining a minor naval presence in the area. (Most of the ESG, on a regularly scheduled deployment, is no more than a few days sail from the coast, as it remains in the Mediterranean Sea.) The reason given for the American naval presence was to serve as a warning to the Syrians not to involve themselves in Lebanese affairs. The exact mission of the naval presence off the Levantine coast — and the exact deterrent function it served — was not clear, but there they were. The Sixth Fleet has gone out of its way to park and maintain U.S. warships off the Lebanese coast. Hezbollah leaders being killed by the Israelis and the presence of American ships off the shores of Mediterranean countries are not news in and of themselves. These things happen. The killing of Mughniyah is notable only to point out that as much as Israel might have wanted him dead, the Israelis knew this fight would escalate. But anyone would have known this. So all we know is that whoever killed Mughniyah wanted to trigger a conflict. The U.S. naval presence off the Levantine coast is notable in that Washington, rather busy with matters elsewhere, found the bandwidth to get involved here as well. With the situation becoming tense, the Israelis announced in March that they would carry out an exercise in April called Turning Point 2. Once again, an Israeli military exercise is hardly interesting news. But the Syrians apparently got quite interested. After the announcement, the Syrians deployed three divisions — two armored, one mechanized — to the Lebanese-Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley, the western part of which is Hezbollah’s stronghold. The Syrians didn’t appear to be aggressive. Rather, they deployed these forces in a defensive posture, in a way walling off their part of the valley. The Syrians are well aware that in the event of a conventional war with Israel, they would experience a short but exciting life, as they say. They thus are hardly going to attack Israel. The deployment therefore seemed intended to keep the Israelis on the Lebanese side of the border — on the apparent assumption the Israelis were going into the Bekaa Valley. Despite Israeli and Syrian denials of the Syrian troop buildup along the border, Stratfor sources maintain that the buildup in fact happened. Normally, Israel would be jumping at the chance to trumpet Syrian aggression in response to these troop movements, but, instead, the Israelis downplayed the buildup. When the Israelis kicked off Turning Point 2, which we regard as a pretty interesting name, it turned out to be the largest exercise in Israeli history. It involved the entire country, and was designed to test civil defenses and the ability of the national command authority to continue to function in the event of an attack with unconventional weapons — chemical and nuclear, we would assume. This was a costly exercise. It also involved calling up reserves, some of them for the exercise, and, by some reports, others for deployment to the north against Syria. Israel does not call up reserves casually. Reserve call-ups are expensive and disrupt the civilian economy. These appear small, but in the environment of Turning Point 2, it would not be difficult to mobilize larger forces without being noticed. The Syrians already were deeply concerned by the Israeli exercise. Eventually, the Lebanese government got worried, too, and started to evacuate some civilians from the South. Hezbollah, which still hadn’t retaliated for the Mughniyah assassination, also claimed the Israelis were about to attack it, and reportedly went on alert and mobilized its forces. The Americans, who normally issue warnings and cautions to everyone, said nothing to try to calm the situation. They just sat offshore on their ships. more...
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Israeli intel projects a one-month war with Syria World Tribune (April 8, 2008) - Israel's intelligence community has concluded that the next war would involve missiles and Hizbullah, last at least a month and include Syria. The intelligence community has drafted a series of scenarios for Israel's emergency services to prepare for future war. The scenarios envisioned the next war as including massive missile and rocket salvos, some of them containing chemical weapons, on Israeli cities. "The scenarios are based on Arab military capability rather than intentions," an Israeli government source said. "The war in Lebanon was also seen as a taste of what a full-scale war would bring." Officials said Israel's military, police and emergency services have been on high alert for an attack by Hizbullah, Syria or Iran, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the current alert would last throughout April and did not rule out a continuation of high combat-readiness for the rest of 2008. Under the scenarios, hundreds of Israelis would be killed and thousands injured in missile strikes on Tel Aviv. The enemy missiles would target strategic facilities, including Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport. Syria was also expected to be a participant in the next war against Israel. The intelligence community envisioned Hizbullah, Iran and Syria coordinating strikes on northern and central Israel. The Hamas regime and the Palestinian Authority would also fire rockets from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In one scenario, Iran would also attack the Jewish state. The intelligence community did not expect Iran to fire nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, but said such an attack could stem from Syria. more...
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Syria on Alert 'Because Hizbullah Revenge Attack is Near' Israel National News (April 6, 2008) - Syria has raised the state of alert of its armed forces because it knows Hizbullah's revenge attack against Israel for the killing of Imad Mughniyeh is near, according to Israel's Channel 2 TV. Soon after Mughniyeh's death, Israel warned Syria that it would hold it responsible for any revenge attack launched by Hizbullah for the killing of Mughniyeh, its operations officer. Syria is due to release its official findings in the probe into Mughniyeh's death. He was killed in an explosion in Damascus in February. The paper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which is published in London, reported that since Mughniyeh's death, Syria has arrested dozens of suspects, including "Palestinians and senior Syrian army officers." Sources in Damascus told the paper that the investigation established that foreigners were behind the murder of Mughniyeh. Syria has accused Israel of being behind the assassination. 'Assassination planned in Syria' Meanwhile, former Syrian vice president Abdel Khalim Khaddam is accusing Syria of killing Muyghniyeh. Interviewed by a Lebanese newspaper, Khaddam said that the head of Syrian intelligence was replaced because the investigation he conducted showed that those who planned the assassination came from within Syria. Khaddam was forced into exile and took up residence in Europe after he criticized the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Hizbullah's Deputy Director Sheikh Naeem Kassem said Sunday that the Israeli Home Front exercise is a preparation for war and part of "Israel's aggressive character." Kassem said the exercise had three purposes: first, to boost the morale of the Israeli people, which has been low since the Second Lebanon War; second, to convince the Israelis that the army has overcome the failure and is ready and has drawn all the lessons from the war; and third, he explained, "it is part of the preparations for war, because Israel is always on a war footing." The Al-Arabiyah television network reported Sunday that the Lebanese military ordered residents of southern villages to move away from the border with Israel. According to the report, the Lebanese Army set up dirt roadblocks and inspection towers along the border with Israel to prevent Lebanese civilians from getting too close to the fence. Tension between Israel and Syria has been high recently, and there were reports that Defense Minister Ehud Barak cancelled his planned visit to Germany this week because of it. Defense Ministry advisor Amos Gilad denied this report and said that the Defense Minister changed his schedule because of a heavy workload. However, he also made what reporters saw as a hinted threat at Syria, following reports that Syrian forces were on a heightened state of alert. "Anyone who tries to strike Israel should keep in mind that Israel is the strongest country in the region and that its response will be hard and painful. We are always alert and ready," Harel warned. more...
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Exclusive: Barak calls off German trip next week as Damascus raises war alarm DEBKAfile (April 2, 2008) - Israel’s security cabinet convened Wednesday, April 2, to examine the homeland’s preparedness for war. It decided to redistribute the bio/chemical warfare masks a few months after they were called in. DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose intelligence data indicating the possibility that Syria may transfer to Hizballah chemical or biological warheads known to have been developed for its war arsenal. A few hours earlier, the London-based al Quds al-Arabi quoted Damascus officials as claiming that Israel is preparing a big attack on Syria and Hizballah. Syria was said to have ordered a partial call-up of its military reserves. DEBKAfile reports that Damascus has placed its missile units on the alert after last week deploying two armored brigades on the Beirut-Damascus highway under the command of President Bashar Assad’s young brother Maher Assad, chief of the presidential guard. They were posted there to block the road in case Israeli armored columns attempted to reach Damascus through Lebanon. Our sources also note Syria plans to release the findings of its inquiry into the death of Hizballah leader Imad Mughniyeh in February. Sources close to Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak report he called off his trip to Germany next week because he expects Damascus to use those findings to put Hizballah on the spot where it can no longer duck exacting revenge for his death from Israel, which is held responsible for his death. IDF sources report Iran has sent Syria state of the art equipment for surveillance and eavesdropping on Israeli military command centers and bases. Israel’s home defense command scheduled April 6-10 a nationwide exercise to improve the home front’s readiness for emergencies. Warning sirens will be tested on April 8. Tuesday, Barak toured Israel’s northern border and reported “a great deal of activity on the other side.” He added: “…we are learning the lessons of the last war, Israel is the strongest country in the region and I would not advise anyone on the other side to test us.” In their briefing to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Tuesday morning, IDF intelligence officers confirmed intense Hizballah activity, much of it in South Lebanon by operatives in civilian disguise. The officers referred to the Lebanese Shiite terror group’s rearmament with more powerful and longer-range rockets. On March 22, DEBKAfile first revealed that Hizballah had more than trebled its pre-war rocket arsenal. “Some of their 40,000 rockets of Syrian and Iranian manufacture can hit Israeli targets as far south as Beersheba, 350 km. away. Not only has Tel Aviv come within range, but Hizballah and the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza can between them now cover most of Israel up to its southernmost tip at Eilat. The possibility is now under consideration that these rockets may be armed with Syrian non-conventional warheads. Damascus has also shipped to Hizballah quantities of anti-air weapons, including shoulder-borne rockets and scores of Russian-made anti-aircraft ZSU-100 automatic 14.4 mm caliber cannon, which are most effective against low-flying aircraft, helicopters and drones.
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Could a pre-emptive attack be a logical move considering Israel's vulnerability and self-preservation in light of chemical and/or biological warheads within range of its major cities? Could this escalation lead to Israel destroying Damascus because of some information of an imminent attack? These kinds of escalations have happened before and nothing came of them, but keep watching!

Iran Gains African Foothold up to Chad through Pacts with Sudan DEBKAfile (April 1, 2008) - Iran jumped in with gusto to meet Sudan president Omar al-Bashir’s application for a military package including arms and training of his army. The application was received after the horrendous Darfur tragedy and Khartoum’s backing for Chad rebels finally convinced Sudan’s traditional arms suppliers, Russia, China and Libya, to back away from arming Sudan’s 120,000-strong army. Beijing came last, sensitized to its international image by the approaching Olympic Games in August. Libya has a major beef with Khartoum for backing the rebels fighting to overthrow Chad president Idriss Debby. The pacts were signed on March 8 by Iran’s defense minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Majjar and his Sudanese counterpart, Gen. Abdul Rahim Mohammad Hussein, a fighter pilot appointed defense minister last month. For years Tehran has been building up its military ties with Khartoum with an eye on its geopolitical assets: a long coast on the Red Sea, a main sea lanes to the Persian Gulf, a Muslim nation located opposite Saudi Arabia and next door to Egypt; Sudan’s command of oil resources and the White Nile, a major water source for an entire African region. This strategic jewel finally dropped into Iran’s fundamentalist lap. DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Iranian sources disclosed its substance on March 14, 2008:

1. The Sudanese Army will gradually re-adjust from Russian and Chinese weaponry to Iranian-made items.
2. A 50 percent discount on Iran arms sold to Sudan.
3. Iran will build Sudan a military industry for the manufacture of Iranian weapons.
4. The two governments will establish a joint military commission to translate mutual defense collaboration into practical form. Each undertakes to come to the other’s aid in the event of foreign aggression.
5. The two air forces, navies and armored corps will exchange delegations.
6. Iran will help Sudan plan and construct security systems for strategic locations, such as oil fields, ports and the Nile River dams.

The $1.8 billion White Nile River Merowe Dam hydropower project, which includes a 174-kilometer long reservoir, is funded by China and Arab countries. Chinese, Sudanese, German and French companies participate in this project and in the Kajbar Dam downstream of the Merowe Dam. The Sudanese are afraid that Egypt, which claims the Merowe project is diverting its water supply, may attack and destroy the project. On March 10, the UN center in Geneva published a report compiled by a group of experts monitoring human rights in Sudan, which had this to say about these dams: “We regret that the government did not allow access to Kajbar, Amir, Merowe and Makabrab in the northern state. The visit was planned to meet with local authorities and affected communities in the Nile valley area where two hydropower dams are being constructed. It was canceled by Sudan’s state security committee the day before it was scheduled to travel to the area. The reasons provided by the government did not justify their decision to prevent access. more...
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Image from Chuck Missler research

Report: Iranian, Syrian missiles to pound Israel in next war YNet News (March 24, 2008) - Hundreds of dead, thousands of injured, missile barrages on central Israel, full paralysis at Ben-Gurion Airport, constantly bombed roads, nationwide power outages that last for long hours, and whole regions' water supply being cut off – this is what the next war could look like. A secret report recently distributed among government ministries and local municipalities details various wartime scenarios. The report deals with very harsh possibilities, including some that are downright horrifying, formulated as part of the lessons drawn in the wake of the Second Lebanon War. Notably, the document does not aim to predict future developments with certainty, but rather, only aims to serve as a guideline for civilian war preparations. The above assessment is characterized as a "severe reasonable scenario" – that is, it is not the gravest scenario, but also not the most favorable. According to this scenario, the war will last for about a month and will include the participation of Syria (military operations on the Golan Heights front and the firing of many Scud missiles at the home front,) Lebanon (the firing of thousands of Hizbullah rockets at the Galilee and Haifa as well long-range missiles at central Israel,) and the Palestinian Authority (relatively limited conflict that would include short-range rockets fired from Gaza and the West Bank as well as terror attacks such as suicide bombings within Israel.) According to this scenario, Iran will also get involved in the war, but will only fire a limited number of missiles rather than non-conventional weapons. In addition to missile barrages, the scenario includes aerial strikes on military and strategic targets, attacks on infrastructure facilities, and attempted abductions of civilians and soldiers. Such hypothetical war, according to the assessment, will leave 100-230 civilians dead, and 1,900-3,200 Israelis wounded. However, should Israel be attacked with chemical weapons, the number of killed and wounded Israelis would skyrocket to 16,000. Under such circumstances, as a result of missile damage, chemical contamination, and the razing of homes the State would have to evacuate as many as 227,000 Israelis from their homes. According to the assessment, about 100,000 people would seek to leave the country should such scenario materialize.
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No Lebanon Breakthrough for Arabs BBC News (March 30, 2008) - An annual summit of the Arab League has ended in Syria's capital Damascus with a call for an end to the political crisis in Lebanon. But correspondents say there were no specific proposals to solve the crisis, which has seen Lebanon without a president since November. Only 11 heads of states from the 22-member organisation were present, as key pro-Western leaders stayed away. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan sent low-level delegations. They blame Syria for the ongoing political crisis in Lebanon - a charge denied by the government in Damascus. The Lebanese government boycotted the summit completely. In a final statement, the League called for a compromise candidate to be elected president, and a national unity cabinet formed, AFP news agency reported. But the BBC's Heba Saleh in Damascus says there were no breakthroughs. Opening the meeting, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied his country was meddling in Lebanon. He was responding to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who had accused Syria of preventing the election of a consensus president in Beirut. Mr Assad said his country was willing to join "Arab or non-Arab efforts" to end Lebanon's political crisis "on condition that they are based on Lebanese national consensus". But our correspondent says it will take more than words to convince his critics, and Syria risks further isolation if there is no immediate resolution to the Lebanon crisis. In Riyadh, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, suggested Syria had not abided by the Arab consensus on Lebanon. "The problem is that what was decided unanimously in the Arab League, including by Syria, is not being carried out," he said. The foreign minister called for ''counter-measures". Syria had billed the summit as a golden opportunity for regional unity but there is little sign of this, BBC Middle East correspondent Katya Adler reports from Damascus. She says the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon are all staying at home because they view Syria as a trouble-maker, too close to Iran and a destructive force in Lebanon. Syria has accused them in the past of being subservient to the US and Foreign Minister Walid Moualem has blamed Washington for trying to "divide the Arab world". "They [the US] did their best to prevent the summit but they failed," Mr Moualem said on the eve of the summit.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

It's interesting to see the lines being drawn in alliances that God foretold in scripture come to pass. Syria is viewed as a troublemaker which may explain why Damascus is destroyed while a group of Muslim nations remains distant from them and are not mentioned in the list of Magog attackers. Lebanon is still teetering, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turned once Damascus is destroyed to act as a staging ground for a Northern attack on Israel. Time will tell if these are the developing stages or not, as for me I'm going to keep watching.

The Ahmadinejad Machine Spiegel Online (March 25, 2008) - The new Iranian parliament is again dominated by loyalists to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He stands a good chance of being reelected next year -- despite the fact that his constituents suffer the brunt of his mismanagement and corruption. “The president is doing well, in fact, he is doing very well indeed.” Mohammed Ali Ramin leans back, sips his tea, pours in a little milk, and takes another little sip. Then he sets down his glass and folds his hands. The man with reddish-blond hair and a pious full beard enjoys his position as close advisor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ramin, 54, who once studied engineering in the German town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld, has been a member of the president’s inner circle of “friends and companions” for years. The university lecturer is said to be an influential figure even among Iran’s religious zealots, and he is proud to have stood beside the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during his exile in Paris. “Anyone who knows my thoughts,” he says knowingly, “also knows what motivates the president.” And what motivates Ahmadinejad? Primarily his “boundless love for the people, especially the disenfranchised” and “his commitment to the Islamic principles of truth and justice.” And, of course, “the welfare of the Iranian nation.” Ramin: “Ahmadinejad is the standard-bearer of our people and the entire Islamic world.” Ramin’s confidence in the government is as unshakable as his faith in the Prophet Mohammed -- and his views are shared by millions of Iranians. After nearly three years in office, the extremist Ahmadinejad still enjoys widespread support among the population -- despite tightened sanctions in the dispute over the mullahs’ nuclear program and international outrage over the president’s Holocaust denials. Following last week’s parliamentary elections, Ahmadinejad’s “Principlists” again emerged as the strongest faction in the Iranian parliament, the Majlis, in spite of fierce attacks from the ranks of the conservative camp. Before the elections, the mullah regime had effectively neutralized the reformist wing by preventing many of their politicians from running. more...
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Your Tax Dollars at Work in Gaza Jewish World Review (March 24, 2008) - Last week, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that American officials are again pressing Congress to open up the U.S. aid pipeline to the Palestinian Authority. If the plea sounds familiar, it ought to. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Americans have been subsidizing the activities of the P.A. to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Today, as in the past, the arguments in favor of this policy are urgent. We are told by both administration officials who are friends of Israel and by some Israelis that unless we help fund the training and the payment of Palestinian security forces, the P.A. will have no way to cope with terrorists who want to sink any chance of a two-state solution which would enable Israel to live side-by-side with a peaceful Palestinian partner. THE ONLY OPTION? With Hamas in control of Gaza, the P.A., under the current leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, is, we are informed, the only address for creating a moderate force that will work for peace. Given the alternative of the Iranian-backed Hamas or the equally unpalatable choices of either Israel reoccupying the territories or an international peacekeeping force doing so, reinforcing the P.A. seems to make sense.  But does it really? Doubts about the wisdom of the policy have led Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-N.Y.) — respectively, the chair and the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee — to place a hold on a request of another $150 million in direct assistance to the P.A. Thwarted on that front, the administration now wants the committee to okay an additional $25 million in indirect funding for the military training program. Both Lowey and Ros-Lehtinen rightly worry about the commitment of Abbas and his Fatah Party to peace. They cite recent statements by Abbas in which he would not rule out a return to "armed resistance" against Israel. The support by the P.A. media for attacks against Israelis, such as the slaughter of eight students at a Jerusalem yeshiva this month, as well as the ongoing blitz of southern Israel by Hamas missiles, is also reason to doubt the P.A.'s sincerity. The P.A. also continues to honor the memory of slain terrorists as "martyrs" and, as The Jerusalem Post reported this week, plans to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday by having Arab refugees to rush Israel's borders to promote a "right of return," which is synonymous with the destruction of the Jewish State. Supporters of aid respond that these statements do not reflect Abbas' real goals. Yet, they ignore the fact that what the P.A. has done for the past 15 years is to legitimize a Palestinian culture in which political plaudits are won only by killing Jews. Indeed, via its control of broadcast outlets, newspapers and the schools, the P.A. has solidified a mindset of hate. more...
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No One Can Separate Iran, Turkey - Ahmadinejad Islamic Republic News Agency (March 14, 2008) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here on Thursday that Iran and Turkey are two brotherly countries which no one can separate them. He made the remarks in a meeting with his Turkish counterpart President Abdullah Gul on the sidelines of the 11th Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference which opened in the Senegalese capital on Thursday. "We consider Development of Turkey as our own development," the Iranian president noted. On danger of terrorism in the region, he called for all-out cooperation among the regional states to eradicate this menace. Referring to great potentials in both states, he called for further expansion of economic ties between the two neighboring states. President Ahmadinejad also urged removal of obstacles in the way of joint investments by the two states. As to the latest developments in the region, he said great developments have been taken place in the region recently which necessitate regional cooperation to turn them to the benefit of the regional nations. For his part, the Turkish president, said campaign against terrorism would continue in his country. Referring to Iran-Turkey good economic relations, he expressed his satisfaction with the recent visit to Tehran of Turkish tradesmen and start of economic discussions between the two sides. The Iranian president wound up his visit to Senegal and departed for Tehran Friday morning to take part in the nationwide parliamentary election which started a few hours ago in Iran.
| Iran | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Israel in cross-hairs of summer war? World Net Daily (March 13, 2008) - Britain's Secret Intelligence Service says Iran's Revolutionary Guards are training hundreds of Hamas fighters to prepare for an all-out war this summer against Israel, according to Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. The Gaza-based organization's elite Izzedine al-Qassam Brigade will form the southern front of an attack against the Jewish state while Hezbollah will launch its simultaneous assault from southern Lebanon, according to MI6. Analysts with the organization believe the attack will come in the rundown of the Bush administration and closing months of the bitter Democratic campaign. "With the Bush White House virtually a spent force and both the Democrats and Republicans looking inward to their conventions, there is mounting evidence that Tehran will seize the opportunity to attack Israel through its surrogates, Hamas and Hezbollah," said a senior intelligence source in London. MI6 analysts have confirmed tortuous negotiations in which Egypt acted as an intermediary between Hamas and Israel are now increasingly fragile. Hamas, which is pledged to destroy Israel, is officially excluded by Israel from direct negotiations with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government. But with the mounting threat of a simultaneous attack on Israel from two fronts, several members of the Israeli security services have begun to urge Olmert to meet with Hamas leaders. However, hardliners like the head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, and Yuval Diskin, the director-general of Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet, are opposed to any negotiations. Dagan has told Olmert: "To talk to Hamas is a waste of time. Gaza is a noxious mixture of our oxidized hopes." And Diskin added last week: "While we would be talking, Hamas would be sending still more of its fighters to Iran to be trained." MI6 undercover agents in Tehran – operating out of a secret base on the country's border with Iraq – have established there are three training camps.
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Israel to Hizbullah: Revenge Attack Could Mean War Israel National News (March 12, 2008) - Israel has recently warned Hizbullah that it will not hesitate to retaliate with war for a large scale attack on its citizens, Channel 10 – Nana news reported Wednesday. The Hizbullah attack is expected in revenge for the killing of its operations officer Imad Mughniyeh. Iranian TV vowed that Israel would face its "third destruction" on the 40th day after Mughniyeh's death, which will occur next Saturday. Israeli intelligence is picking up extensive "chatter" between Hizbullah and Iran but still has not located specific intentions to carry out a terror attack. Israeli military attachés worldwide have been instructed to change their routine movements and retired military persons were warned to exercise caution in their travels.
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Could this threat of retaliation trigger an Israeli pre-emptive attack? I don't know, keep watching. There is also supposed to be a two-day Arab summit in Damascus starting March 29. There's currently some question as to whether Egypt or Saudi Arabia will be present there.

Kuwaiti Paper: Mega-Attack on Israel in March Israel National News (February 26, 2008) - The Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan quoted "top Western sources" Monday saying that, "according to reliable intelligence information, Hizbullah has begun planning a large-scale attack on Israel in retaliation for its [alleged] assassination of senior Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyah." According to the report, translated by MEMRI, the attack is being planned in coordination with Syria and Iran, and is to take place before the Arab summit next month. It was also reported that there would be a simultaneous terrorist escalation by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other PA groups in Gaza.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Damascus Seizes on Mughniyeh Killing for Lebanon Comeback DEBKAfile (February 18, 2008) - Syria is not waiting for its official investigation to wind up and expose the party responsible for killing Hizballah commander and Tehran’s terror tactician in Damascus on Feb. 13 - any more than Hizballah, when its leaders accuse Israel. Tehran, Syria and Hizballah have all threatened revenge against Israel within or outside its borders. However, Bashar Assad’s strategists are not losing a moment to cash in on the abundant conspiracy theories surrounding the death, to plant one of its own: Mughniyeh, they say, was killed in their capital by their Lebanese enemies. Therefore, it is feared in Washington and Jerusalem that, while plotting revenge on Israel, Hizballah, backed by the Syrian commando units, will launch attacks on Lebanese national intelligence and Druze targets in Beirut and Mt. Lebanon – they point a finger at Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. Their immediate goal would be to overthrow the pro-Western, anti-Syrian government headed by Fouad Siniora and stir up a new civil war. The door would then re-open for Syria to make a comeback to the troubled country and move troops in for the first time since they were thrown out in 2005, in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions. Syria’s machinations give substance to Director of US National Intelligence Mike McConnell’s assertion to Fox TV Sunday, Feb. 17, that, while Hizballah is blaming Israel, “…there's some evidence that it may have been internal Hezbollah. It may have been Syria. We don't know yet, and we're trying to sort that out.” “It is a serious threat, and it's primarily against Israel,” said the US intelligence director. “But …let me just mention about Mughniyeh… (He was) responsible for more deaths of Americans and Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception of Osama bin Laden. So this man over time had lots of enemies. Remember, he's a Shia, and oftentimes his targets could be Sunni as well as against Israel.” Last week, the FBI placed counter-terror squads on alert in the US against attacks on synagogues and other potential Jewish targets. In July 2007, McConnell referred to Hezbollah sleeper cells in the United States waiting for orders to spring into action. Our sources report they are part of the trans-continental network which Mughniyeh himself established on behalf of Hizballah and Tehran. Meanwhile, in Beirut, DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report sporadic clashes already erupting in Beirut in the last few days between pro-government and pro-Hizballah adherents. Sunday, Feb. 17, unidentified gunmen shot up a Lebanese army unit near the Sabra district in south Beirut, killing one person and injuring others. Barricades and manned positions have gone up ominously in the Lebanese capital and no-go zones set up between flashpoint districts. Syrian sources promise the results of their finished inquiry will cause an earthquake in the Arab world and Middle East when they are published Saturday, Feb. 22. Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has scheduled another of his broadcast speeches for the same day - this one to mark the anniversary of his predecessor Abbas Musawi’s death in 1992, which was also attributed to Israel. The two events are feared by US and Israeli officials to have been coordinated on the same day to flash the signal for the Syrian-Hizballah plan to start unfolding. DEBKAfile outlines the case Syria has begun putting together to incriminate its Lebanese enemies:

1. A large Mossad spy-cum-terror ring was allegedly uncovered in Damascus and Beirut. Its mission was to keep tabs on Syrian commanders, Hizballah heads and Palestinian leaders before liquidating them.

2. The ring comprised Lebanese members as well as collaborators from a key Arab intelligence body, possibly Saudi or Jordanian. DEBKAfile sources report that Damascus, increasingly isolated in the mainstream Arab world over Lebanon and its ties with Tehran, has no qualms about confronting Saudi Arabia and Jordan and accusing their intelligence agencies of being in league with Israel to destroy the “Arab resistance movement.” Saudi Arabia has indicated that its chair will be empty at the forthcoming Arab League summit in Damascus at the end of March.

3. Syria claims to have found evidence that two Lebanese intelligence agencies are involved in the Mossad ring. One is the research branch of the Lebanese General Security Service, whose director, Capt. Wissam Eid, was murdered in a car bomb attack in Beirut on Jan. 25. Capt. Eid was deeply involved in gathering evidence for the Hariri assassination case and uncovering The Syrian leadership’s criminal involvement. Our intelligence sources note that success by a Syrian undercover team in immobilizing this service would not only deprive the Fouad government of its primary security shield, but also bring the investigation into the three-year old assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister to a halt – just when the international tribunal is preparing to start work in the Netherlands. The second clandestine Lebanese agency which Syria stigmatizes as part of the Mossad network is the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s private intelligence service. Syria claims to have exposed the personal involvement of its director, Hisham Nasser e-Din. This charge would justify the targeting of the Druze leader and his domain on Mt. Lebanon. Jumblatt, whose father was assassinated on orders of Bashar Assad’s father, is marked as the Syrian president’s most implacable Lebanese foe.

4. The Syrian investigators are seeking to prove that Mughniyeh was killed while walking on foot from the house where he was staying in Damascus to the Mitsubishi SUV and that the vehicle was in fact rigged as a bomb car which detonated on his approach. They further claim that more explosive devices were planted along his path in case the first one missed its mark. This is important to support the Syrian case, because they claim to have tracked down the vehicle’s Lebanese owner and fixed the time when he entered Syria.

5. They say the explosive was laced with 3,000 steel nails, which killed the targeted Hizballah commander and pockmarked surrounding buildings.
| Iran | Israel | Islam |

Syria, Iran foresee large clash with Israel Haaretz (February 17, 2008) - Syrian and Iranian officials believe there will be a serious military confrontation with Israel in the near future, according to Al-Akhbar, a Lebanese daily affiliated with Hezbollah. Hezbollah's response to the assassination of Imad Mughniyah, the organization's operations chief, will force Israel to make a "difficult decision," the newspaper stated in an editorial. Hezbollah blames Israel for Mughniyah's assassination in Damascus last week. Ibrahim al-Amin, Al-Akhbar's editor, said in a televised interview that Hezbollah does not intend to accept Mughniyah's assassination quietly. Hezbollah's response "will force Israel to make a big decision," he said. However, he insisted that Hezbollah was not interested in a war with Israel. Meanwhile, the defense establishment is bracing for a response from Hezbollah. It is concerned the group may use an explosives-laden unmanned aerial vehicle to attack a civilian or military target in northern or central Israel. The Israel Air Force is on alert for this. To date, Hezbollah has dispatched five Iranian-made drones against Israel, three of them during the Second Lebanon War in August 2006. Two were shot down by the air force, and one crashed. The drones were loaded with dozens of kilograms of high-grade explosives and apparently had been intended to crash in the heavily populated Dan region. The IDF also has bolstered its forces along the northern border, anticipating Hezbollah may launch a massive rocket attack on the area. However, the army has no specific information about the group's intentions in this regard. Meanwhile, the Lebanese media announced that Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah has appointed a successor to Mughniyah, but his identity has not been revealed. Israeli sources said Mughniyah's successor is one of three persons: Ibrahim Akil, who is in charge of southern Lebanon; Fuad Sukur, a senior militia figure; or Talal Hamiyah, who was Mughniyah's deputy. Meanwhile, the Lebanese media said none of these men are being considered. The Lebanese daily Al-Safir reported yesterday that Hezbollah has gone on high alert in southern Lebanon and evacuated all of its local headquarters, fearing Israeli air strikes. According to the report, the organization has mobilized 50,000 militiamen. Meanwhile, in Syria, the investigation into Mughniyah's assassination continues. "The investigation is being carried out with complete secrecy because of Mughniyah's sensitive location before the ambush," Al-Akhbar reported yesterday. Mughniyah had emerged from a meeting shortly before he was killed. He was killed near the offices of the chief of Syrian intelligence, Asif Shuwekat, who is President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law. Several Palestinians were arrested for suspected involvement in the killing, the newspaper reported.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Isaiah 17:9, "In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation." Could Israel's big decision end up being a pre-emptive attack on the plotters in Damascus that results in its destruction? And given Syria's defense agreement with Iran, could we see Iran and friends (Russia, Turkey, Libya, etc.) come to Israel with "hooks in their jaws?" I don't believe the time is right just yet because Israel is not dwelling in safety as rockets continue to rain down. However, it is this very kind of building conflict that I believe will ultimately lead to Bible prophecy once again being fulfilled 100%. Keep watching!

'Syria and Iran anticipating serious military clash with Israel' Jerusalem Newswire (February 17, 2008) - Damascus and Tehran expect to soon be caught up in a military confrontation with Israel. According to a report in Al-Ahkbar, a Lebanese newspaper said to be affiliated with Hizb'allah, the Syrian and Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization does not intend to let last week's execution of top terrorist Amad Mugniyah be left unanswered. The concensus in the region is that Israel was behind the blowing up of Mugniyah's car, and Hizb'allah chief Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to make Israel pay in "open war." Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the cabinet in Jerusalem Sunday he has put the Israeli Air Force on alert for a possible Hizb'allah attack against Jewish communities in the north. Barak said Israel was prepared for the possibility that an explosives-laden pilotless drone could be sent to explode inside an Israeli community.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Bad News in Gaza? Look For Tehran World Jewish Congress Newsletter (February 6, 2008) -  Wherever you find bad news in Gaza or bad news in the West Bank, you will find Tehran and its proxies, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups who receive their money and marching orders from the Iranian regime and do its bidding. Take the case of the fence in Gaza. In these last weeks, the fence and border between the divided city of Rafah and Gaza was blown up by Hamas, causing a refugee flood into the Sinai for, we were told, flour and toothpaste. In fact, the cause was a deliberate, preplanned provocation. This process started about one to 3 months ago as Hamas, under the electronic gaze of the Egyptians, utilized torches to cut the base supports of the fence and cause its collapse. Sick of incessant rocket attacks emanating from Gaza, Israel was considering re-entering and re-taking the Philadephi route to stop the weapons smuggling through the tunnels. Hamas then began undermining the fence to prepare explosions to kill the Israelis who might be coming into the area. When that did not happen, they hatched this plot of fabricated fuel shortages. The Egyptians knew about this for weeks since they had the surveillance pictures but did not share the information. It is interesting to note that Mubarak and Ahmadinejad had a conversation the day before the fence fell. Also interesting is the fact that this fall coincided with a conference in Damascus of Arab rejectionists of the Annapolis peace conference. Over 300 Palestinian terrorists leaders were convened by Iran and Syria in a gathering originally slated to take place during the Annapolis meeting but which was postponed when Syria decided to actually go to Annapolis. So it was held precisely at the time of the breaking down of the wall in Gaza. The tunnels were not constructed in such a way that could convey large-sized ordinance into Gaza. But now that the wall is destroyed, we hear of large anti-aircraft weapons, katyushas and other arms being transferred uninterrupted. Not transfers of fuel - that "shortage" was an excuse manufactured to justify the breach in the wall. Hamas will now be able to increase the striking range of its katyushas and its anti-aircraft weapons. There is a new chilling possibility of Hamas hitting Ashkelon. One wonders if Egypt fully anticipated what problems might be created to its own detriment. Many of those who flooded into Egypt are going to remain there. Now that there are terrorists in the Sinai with large amounts of explosives and other weapons that could not fit into a tunnel, cities in Egypt as well as in Israel may become targets. The policy of letting Israel bleed a little in order to appease the Muslim radicals could backfire. Allowing this to go on encourages Hamas to continue its violent provocations, so that Israel is again forced to be on the defensive. Another Hamastan may be born in the Sinai, which would provide them with a base from which to operate in Egypt and expand their influence. Iran's proxies would have an even greater leg up over Abbas. With the transfer of katyusha rockets into Gaza, what we now have is a baby Bek'aa, situated four miles from Ashkelon, like the baby Hezbollahstan in the north that was created with the same technology and money coming from Iran, through Hezbollah. This is a long-term change - the whole paradigm of the Middle East changes in the region because of what happened in Gaza. Now the question is what can Israel do about it? Frankly, its options are limited. One and a half million people in Gaza are miserably abused by their leadership, the Hamas leaders, who are committed to following the orders of Tehran's leaders who make apocalyptic promises to wipe Israel off the map. Now they have established at least the possibility of a firing platform about four miles from the electric grid in Ashkelon, within easy shot of the Jewish residents living there. The international community must take notice: Gaza-Hamastan is a serious threat to the comity of the region - engineered and financed by Tehran.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

According to Bible prophecy, Isaiah 17, Damascus is destroyed and people leave the cities because of the children of Israel. We can see the divide amongst many of the Muslim nations along the very lines drawn out in the Bible. Iran and Syria have a clear relationship passing weapons through to Gaza and elsewhere while others make the appearance of wanting a dual-state solution more aligned with the West. I think the dividing of Israel is going to be viewed by the radical Muslims as a victory leading to the planning of a full-scale invasion prophesied in Ezekiel 38,39. I think Israel will catch wind of these plans resulting in the destruction of Damascus triggering the defense agreement that Syria and Iran have to bring the Magog invaders with hooks in their jaws to the mountains of Israel. These kind of stories just further lay out the alliances that lead me to the above conclusions having studied Bible prophecy.

World Leaders Gather To Roast Mahmoud Ahmadinejad The Onion **Warning sexually explicit content on link from event. (text of quotes by attendees) You will get the jist here without reading the whole article. You've been forewarned. (February 6, 2008) - In what observers are calling an unprecedented opportunity for the international community to express its grievances against Iran's controversial leader, dozens of world leaders and key U.N. delegates gathered Saturday to roast Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The event, which took place beneath U.N. headquarters in the historic Geneva Friars Club, brought together the heads of every G8 member state, as well as some of today's top foreign policy makers and peace brokers. Roastmaster and former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan kicked off the evening by welcoming President Ahmadinejad to "what [was] sure to be the first and last time Mahmoud would ever be surrounded by 72 virgins." "Ladies and gentlemen, and Tony Blair, we stand here in the presence of one of the most vicious and destructive forces in the world today—but enough about Bea Arthur," said Annan, gesturing with a tumbler of Makers Mark across the long white tables of chuckling diplomats to the former Golden Girls star. "Some people here tonight will tell you that Mahmoud refuses to engage in diplomatic talks, that he is the most ruthless stonewaller who has ever lived. Well, those people have obviously never met my first wife." The black-tie affair brought together representatives from warring nations and longtime enemies who sat in the hallowed, oak-walled dining room and patiently awaited their turn to lambaste Ahmadinejad. Some of the evening's most pressing topics included the Iranian president's insistence on developing a nuclear program, his possible involvement in the 1989 assassination of an exiled Kurdish leader, and his excessive body hair. "You know, a lot of folks have been criticizing Ahmadinejad for covering up one of the most horrifying and unspeakable crimes ever perpetrated on humankind," Russian president Vladimir Putin told the assembled guests. "But don't you listen to them, Mahmoud. I happen to like your beard." Ahmadinejad, seated in a plush red armchair just to the right of the podium, seemed in high spirits as he calmly endured countless ribs from his allies and fellow arms-race competitors. Rolling his eyes and shaking his finger in mock disapproval, he was taken to task for everything from his brutal treatment of political dissidents to his recent visit to Columbia University. more... *Be forewarned, the crudeness in the detail of the rest of the story I left out. If you want to see what passes as a comedy roast and are not offended, then read the rest. -It's really not that important anyways, I just think this gathering may have had hidden importance considering who was all there.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America |

I think the "spirit" of the gathering it is telling in examining their humor. Isn't that one of the reasons the fundamentalist Muslims don't like Western values? They certainly let it all out, I wonder what else these globalists all discussed outside of the show? Attendees were: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, Henry Kissinger, Israeli president Shimon Peres, President George W. Bush, Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Gilbert Gottfried, King Abdullah, and Margaret Thatcher among many others.

Obama would talk with Iran and Syria The Jerusalem Post (January 31, 2008) - US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he would favor holding direct talks with Iran and Syria in a bid to stabilize the Middle East if elected president. In an interview with France's Paris Match on Thursday, Obama said: "I want to have direct talks with countries like Iran and Syria because I don't believe we can stabilize the region unless not just our friends but also our enemies are involved in these discussions." He was also quoted as saying he would also hold a summit with leaders of Muslim states to address the growing gap between the West and the world of Islam. The Illinois senator added that to repair the image of the United States in the world, he would "put an end to the war in Iraq." "Occupying the country has put the odds against us with the world," Obama said. Meanwhile, a visiting Iranian official said Thursday in Cairo that Iran and Egypt would work together to resolve the Middle East's top crises such as in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, and that both wanted to upgrade their diplomatic relations, severed nearly three decades ago. But the Egyptians did not comment on the remarks - as they hadn't on those the day before by the Iranian parliament speaker who said Egypt and Iran would soon restore full ties. Cairo's silence indicated that, despite the flurry of visiting Iranian officials and an apparent thaw between the two states, Egypt expects more than just words from Teheran. The North African Sunni state has always maintained that normal diplomatic relations would come only after the overwhelmingly Shi'ite Iran stopped meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries. Teheran cut diplomatic ties after Cairo signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979 and provided asylum for the deposed Iranian Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi. more...
Iran | Islam | America |

Ahmadinejad tells West: Accept Israel's 'imminent collapse' Haaretz (January 30, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on the West Wednesday to acknowledge Israel's "imminent collapse." Speaking to a crowd on a visit to the southern port of Bushehr, where Iran's first light-water nuclear power plant is being built by Russia, Ahmadinejad further incited his listeners to "stop supporting the Zionists, as [their] regime reached its final stage." "Accept that the life of Zionists will sooner or later come to an end," the Iranian president said in a televised speech. He added, "What we have right now is the last chapter [of Israeli atrocities] which the Palestinians and regional nations will confront and eventually turn in Palestine's favor." Iran does not acknowledge Israel and Ahmadinejad has in the past sparked international outcry by referring to the systematic murder of six million Jews in World War II as a "myth" and calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Iran is currently also mediating in the crisis over the Gaza Strip, where Israel has imposed a blockade on border crossings into the coastal territory, barring the entry of supplies into the already impoverished area. Last week, Palestinian militants blew holes in the barrier separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt, prompting hundreds of thousands of Gazans to pour into Egypt in search of supplies. Ahmadinejad also urged the Western powers to help build nuclear power plants in his country saying it will be too late if they do not decide to do so immediately. "If you will not come, this nation will build nuclear plants based on its own resources and when you come some four years later it will reject your request and not then give you any opportunity," he said. "I am addressing leaders of two or three powers; do you remember I sent you message and told you to stop be stubborn? If you think that you can block the movement of Iranian nation, you are wrong," the Iranian president continued. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

In Response to an Israeli Attack, Iran Can, With Syria's Help, Wipe Out Half of Israel MEMRI  (January 23, 2008) - Following reports on Israel's January 17, 2008 test of the Jericho III missile, which has a range of 4,500 km, the Iranian website Tabnak, which is affiliated with Iranian Expediency Council secretary and former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Mohsen Rezai, wrote that the missile's addition to Israel's arsenal does not change the balance of power between Israel and Iran. The website stated that in the event of a conflict with Israel, Iran would use its strategic alliance with Syria to fire missiles at Israel from Syrian territory.[1] It also hinted that, in addition to assistance from Syria, any attack by Israel would also bring retaliation by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah. [2] Further, in an interview on Al-Jazeera TV, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the Israeli missile test, saying that "even before this missile test, the Zionist regime enjoyed this military technology, because of its support from several powers. But such measures will not improve its situation, and will not prevent its fall. The Zionist regime has lost the rationale on which its existence was based, and all nations identify it as criminal. Therefore, it will not achieve legitimacy for its existence through threats and sowing fear."[3] The following are the main points of the Tabnak article: [4]

  • "...The message to Iran from Israel's test of the new Jericho III missile is that this missile is, according to Israel, capable of travelling 4,500 km and striking any point in Iran. If these statements are true, then the Israelis have made several fundamental mistakes in sending [this] threatening message to Iran...:
  • "1. Iran's defense strategy towards any type of possible attack, by Israel or by the U.S., is based on [the assumption] that both are capable [of carrying out] a missile attack and an aerial attack on Iranian targets. Iran has never denied that Israel and the U.S. are capable [of carrying out] a missile or aerial attack on it.
  • "2. The fundamental assumption of Iran's strategy is that [even] if Israel did not have long-range missiles aimed at Iran, the U.S. would arm it with long-range strategic missiles as soon as it could.
  • "3. Any country determines, and deploys, its strategic missile launching system based on its geographical breadth. Accordingly, Israel automatically comes up against a difficult limitation: While Iran's area is 1,648,195 [square] km, the area of 'the regime that occupies Jerusalem' [i.e. Israel] is 26,323 [square] km, and if we subtract the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, [this area] shrinks to 20,150 [square km]. This means that [even] if Israel can fire 100 missiles a day at Iran, and hit 100 cities, Iran can [launch] thousands of missiles, and with them eradicate half of Israel. For this reason, the missile balance between the sides will end up in Iran's favor.
  • "4. In the event of an attack on Iran, if the Iran-Syria Joint Strategic Defense Agreement is implemented, Iran need not launch long-range missiles from its territory, [but rather] will be able to face Israel with a wave of missile attacks from [missiles with] a maximum range of 500 km, and with much higher explosive potential. At the same time, [even] if we leave out reciprocal attacks by the Islamic resistance in Lebanon [i.e. Hizbullah], Iran and Syria know very well that an attack on Iran will bring in its wake an attack on Syria, and that an attack on Syria will bring in its wake an attack on Iran - and that in both situations, the third target or the parallel [target] are the Islamic Resistance [organizations] in Lebanon and Palestine. If, prior [to such an attack], Iran employs joint defense measures, and arms itself with a missile defense system through cooperating with Syria, Israel will beyond a doubt receive a crushing response if it attacks Iran.
  • "5. [The placement of] Iran's missile sites is based on the doctrine of irregular warfare. Accordingly, neither Israel nor the U.S. can take out Iran's missile sites in a single surprise attack. For the same reason, Iran's strategic missile defense doctrine benefits from the advantage of [territorial] depth, particularly because Iran can use at least 400,000 square km of its territory as an effective area for aiming [its missiles] at Israel, since it has the benefit of mountainous topography, not a plain.
  • "6. In the past decade, Iran has focused on developing long-range missiles with a range of 3,000 km, in order to benefit from deterrent defense power in the face of any possible Israeli attack. [5] The Israelis know that because [Iran's missiles have attained] a range of 2,500 km, they are in Iran's range of fire, and [they also know that] the shorter the missile's range, the greater its explosive power. For this reason, Iran's missiles have a very great explosive power.

"Therefore, it can be explicitly said that Israel's recent missile test, on January 17, changes Iran's missile defense balance [against Israel] not one whit, and does not impinge on a single one of its defense doctrines... For this reason, this missile test does not create a new situation or [new] result, in any arena of possible confrontation between Iran and Israel...

"Thus [it appears that] the real idea behind this Israeli missile test is psychological warfare [in order to affect] public opinion in Israel, and not psychological warfare against Iran."
Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Global government, mankind's gravest need - Ahmadinejad IRNA (January 22, 2008) - IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Monday evening at the inauguration ceremony of new head of National Center for Globalization Studies, "mankind's gravest need today is a global government." Appreciating the services rendered by the former head of that center (formerly called the International Center for Dialogue among Civilizations), Dr. Mohammad Nahavandian, the President said that choosing Esfandiar Rahim-Masha'ie was "based on precise calculations, and in accordance with a plan for the center." The president added, "The Center for Globalization Studies must be a very dynamic center, able to take long studies forward, thanks to the presence of thinkers and intellectuals from various academic fields, able to pursue globalization discussions throughout the world." Pointing out that God has definitely been pursuing objectives in creation of man, he stressed, "Almighty Allah has drawn the horizons of man's blessed life in this world and how to achieve that objective, based on man's innate desires and in the framework of his social relations with the others." The President emphasized, "Man is created to be a global creature, as all divine religions are global, and if he would be deprived of this aspect of his personality, neither anything would remain of his humanity, nor any of his potentials and talents would find a proper ground for manifestation." Proposing that the rule of single law in the entire world is a bare necessity for the mankind, he said, "The existence of a thousand laws in the world, and then expecting that the global society would reach a status of equilibrium, justice, and tranquility is wishing for the impossible." He added, "It is not possible to observe global justice under such conditions that each country is ruled based on a different set of laws." Ahmadinejad said, "The entire monotheist Arch-Prophets (PBUT) were leaders for the whole mankind, and accordingly, so long as a single law would not be put to effect globally, and a single perfect, and noble human being would not take the charge of a global government, the God given talents of the people would not be materialized, and there would be no sign of divine justice in the world." He considered mankind's progress throughout history "a constant move towards perfection", reiterating, "Today, globalization has become an issue for daily talk of even ordinary folks, under such conditions that signs for accelerating move of the mankind towards the peaks of perfection are countless, and ever increasing." The IRI President stressed that pure Mohamedan Islam has answers to modern man's entire questions, adding, "World nations would accept Islam in large groups if pure Islam would one day be presented to them free from all non-Islamic attachments." Ahmadinejad said, "The entire developments in the world are pieces of a puzzle, being fit in their place in order to complete God's general scheme for a perfect world for the mankind, but in the process of this completion some people achieve perfection, while others fall in the abbeys of annihilation, and nowhere is ever devoid of God's will and Divine Rule, nor of his Caliph on earth." He said that the era for drawing border lines between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism is now over, reiterating, "Unadulterated Christianity and Judaism are the same as they are entirely manifestations of the same Divine Truth." The President stressed, "The single and solid plan and order that we should present for the lives of the world people should be in a way to be acceptable by the pure innate nature of the entire mankind, and such laws need to be based on divine teachings."
| Iran | NewWorldOrder | Apostasy |

If the studies pointing to the 12th Mahdi as the false prophet are accurate, then it makes sense that someone like Ahmadinejad who views himself as preparing the way for the Mahdi's re-emergence to speak for global government because his Imam will be demanding the world worship the antichrist and enforcing his policies. One of Islam's goals is a world under Muslim rule. If they are directed to worship the antichrist and view him as their leader, then his global control will be viewed as that fulfillment. Remember also that the Magog invasion comes before the antichrist is revealed so there could be a shift in perspective once the radical attackers are wiped out in the mountains of Israel. In all religions though, we are going to see an alignment with the Alliance of Civilizations and the "we all worship the same God" lie. The proof is in the holy books of the various religions. Because many elements of Judaism and Christianity are combined into the Koran, there will be elements of similarity, but the messages are clearly polar opposite between Judaism/Christianity and Islam.

Ahmadinejad: Mideast countries will erupt like a volcano YNet News (January 17, 2008) - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in response to US President George W. Bush's recent visit to the Middle East that "the region's countries are about to erupt like a volcano", the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Thursday. Speaking at a mosque in Tehran Wednesday evening ahead of the Day of Ashura celebrations, the Iranian president said the region's countries would follow the Islamic Republic's lead and "stand firm in the face of (Israel's) murderous operations against the oppressed Palestinian nation and its supporters." Meanwhile, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said the West had failed in efforts to put pressure on the Islamic Republic over its atomic activities. The West fears Tehran is seeking an atom bomb and has imposed two sets of United Nations sanctions. Iran says it aims only to generate electricity. "Those countries who so far have been after imposing sanctions and putting pressure on Iran have not achieved any success," chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili told the official IRNA news agency at the start of a visit to Beijing. "Today, global developments and Iran's logical behavior do not allow anybody to do this."
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

'Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens (January 13, 2008) - A director who shares the ideas of Iran's hardline president has produced what he says is the first film giving an Islamic view of Jesus Christ, in a bid to show the "common ground" between Muslims and Christians. Nader Talebzadeh sees his movie, "Jesus, the Spirit of God," as an Islamic answer to Western productions like Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," which he praised as admirable but quite simply "wrong". "Gibson's film is a very good film. I mean that it is a well-crafted movie but the story is wrong -- it was not like that," he said, referring to two key differences: Islam sees Jesus as a prophet, not the son of God, and does not believe he was crucified. Talebzadeh said he even went to Gibson's mansion in Malibu, California, to show him his film. "But it was Sunday and the security at the gate received the film and the brochure and promised to deliver it," though the Iranian never heard back. Even in Iran, "Jesus, The Spirit of God" had a low-key reception, playing to moderate audiences in five Tehran cinemas during the holy month of Ramadan, in October. The film, funded by state broadcasting, faded off the billboards but is far from dead, about to be recycled in a major 20 episode spin-off to be broadcast over state-run national television this year. Talebzadeh insists it aims to bridge differences between Christianity and Islam, despite the stark divergence from Christian doctrine about Christ's final hours on earth. "It is fascinating for Christians to know that Islam gives such devotion to and has so much knowledge about Jesus," Talebzadeh told AFP. "By making this film I wanted to make a bridge between Christianity and Islam, to open the door for dialogue since there is much common ground between Islam and Christianity," he said. The director is also keen to emphasise the links between Jesus and one of the most important figures in Shiite Islam, the Imam Mahdi, said to have disappeared 12 centuries ago but whose "return" to earth has been a key tenet of the Ahmadinejad presidency. The bulk of "Jesus, the Spirit of God", which won an award at the 2007 Religion Today Film Festival in Italy, faithfully follows the traditional tale of Jesus as recounted in the New Testament Gospels, a narrative reproduced in the Koran and accepted by Muslims. But in Talebzadeh's movie, God saves Jesus, depicted as a fair-complexioned man with long hair and a beard, from crucifixion and takes him straight to heaven. "It is frankly said in the Koran that the person who was crucified was not Jesus" but Judas, one of the 12 Apostles and the one the Bible holds betrayed Jesus to the Romans, he said. In his film, it is Judas who is crucified. Islam sees Jesus as one of five great prophets -- others being Noah, Moses and Abraham -- sent to earth to announce the coming of Mohammed, the final prophet who spread the religion of Islam. It respects Jesus' followers as "people of the book". Iran has tens of thousands of its own Christians who are guaranteed religious freedoms under the constitution -- mainly Armenians, though their numbers have fallen sharply since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Every Christmas, Ahmadinejad and other officials lose no time in sending greetings to Christian leaders including the pope on what they describe as the "auspicious birthday of Jesus Christ, Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH)." In this year's message, Ahmadinejad said that "peace, friendship and justice will be attained wherever the guidelines of Jesus Christ (PBUH) are realised in the world." Shiite Muslims, the majority in Iran, believe Jesus will accompany the Imam Mahdi when he reappears in a future apocalypse to save the world. And Talebzadeh said the TV version of his film will further explore the links between Jesus and the Mahdi -- whose return Ahmadinejad has said his government, which came to power in 2005, is working to hasten. more...
IranIslam | Apostasy |

Turkey Firm On Boosting Ties With Iran Iran Mania (January 10, 2008) - Despite the US pressure, Turkey is firm on bolstering relationship with Iran since the neighbors have not fought since 17th century, PressTV reported. "Turkey and Iran have neither fought nor changed border since the 1639 Treaty of Qasr-e Shirin (also known as the Treaty of Zuhab)," Turkey's President Abdullah Gul said to remind that Ankara-Tehran relations is older than US history. Gul's remarks at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars came as Ankara is under mounting US pressure to refrain from investing billions in Iranian energy projects, Today's Zaman reported. Turkey, the only NATO country bordering Iran, has not buckled under US pressures to cut doing businesses with Tehran. Earlier in November, Iran and Turkey signed an energy deal including building power plants and improving electricity transport infrastructure. The Turkish prime minister also reiterated in September that his country would continue collaboration with Iran in the oil and gas sectors. "Iran is an important trade partner for Turkey and Turkey cannot ignore this fact," Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Islam |

Shiite leaders urges outreach to Sunnis Associated Press (January 11, 2008) - One of Iraq's most powerful Shiite political and religious figures on Friday issued a stunning call for the government to set aside differences with Sunni Muslim politicians and entice them back to help lead the country. The appeal by Ammar al-Hakim, the son and heir-apparent to the head of Iraq's main Shiite political bloc, sharply increased pressure on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to bring Sunni factions back into the fold as part of Washington-backed efforts at sectarian reconciliation. It also could push al-Maliki's government to accelerate steps to integrate armed Sunni groups that have joined the fight against al-Qaida in Iraq and other extremists. The United States has credited the so-called "Awakening Councils" with helping uproot insurgents and has urged Iraq's Shiite leadership to reward the new Sunni allies with security force posts. The Awakening Councils have played a role in a major U.S. offensive launched this week, an operation that included one of the most intense airstrikes of the war. A top U.S. commander said Thursday's bombing blitz south of Baghdad destroyed extremists' "defensive belts" and allowed American soldiers to push into areas where they have not been in years. The United States is also counting on political support from al-Hakim and his father, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council — the country's pre-eminent Shiite political grouping. The elder al-Hakim, who has been a close ally to the United States since the 2003 invasion, has been diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent chemotherapy last year in Iran, where he spent years in exile during Saddam Hussein's rule. more...
| IranIslam | Two Horns |

Olmert: No peace unless attacks stop Associated Press (January 9, 2008) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday that "there will be no peace" unless attacks are halted from all parts of the Palestinian territories, including those not controlled by his negotiating partners in the Palestinian leadership. But he said that both sides "are very seriously trying to move forward" on a deal. "Israel does not tolerate and will not tolerate the continuation of these vicious attacks," Olmert said, after two and a half hours of talks with President Bush. "We will not hesitate to take all the necessary measures. There will be no peace unless terror is stopped. And terror will have to be stopped everywhere." On the first day of his eight-day Mideast trip aimed at pushing the Israelis and Palestinians toward an agreement, Bush declared there is a "historic moment, a historic opportunity." But he also said: "I'm under no illusions. This is going to be hard work." "America cannot dictate the terms of what a state will look like," he added. "We'll help." Earlier Wednesday, an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza killed two Palestinians and wounded four others, a move the Israeli army said was taken in response to Palestinian militants who had bombarded the rocket-scarred southern Israeli city of Sderot with rocket and mortar fire. Bush said he and Olmert also discussed Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions and an incident Sunday when Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. U.S. officials said Iran threatened to explode the vessels, but the incident ended peacefully. more...
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam1st Seal | Dividing the Land |

Ezekiel 38:8
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
Beyond the dividing of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state, one of the prerequisites of the Magog invasion by Iran, Turkey, Russia and others is that Israel is living in safety. This works to bring about the false peace as well so I have a feeling that the rockets are going to soon stop and that will help spur the division of the land to create a situation of relative, temporary peace.

Hamas averages 8.2 missiles a day in 2007, steps up Iran-Syrian-backed preparations for full-scale war DEBKAfile (January 1, 2008) - The annual report of Israel’s domestic intelligence service, ShinShin BetBet, paints a troubling picture of a Hamas-ruled government in Gaza expanding its efforts to build a war machine capable of taking on Israel in full-scale military combat, with active input from Iran and Syria. In the outgoing year, Hamas and its allies fired more than 1.300 Qassam missiles and 1,700 mortar shells from Gaza, subjecting Israeli communities in an expanding radius to a daily average of 8.2 projectiles. At the same time, the ShinShin BetBet and IDF were strikingly successful in their preventive campaign. They thwarted 29 major attacks inside Israel originating in Gaza, and the number of Israelis killed by terrorists declined from 50 in 2005 and 24 in 2006 to 13 in 2007. Nonetheless, the Palestinians mounted a total of 2,946 Palestinian terrorist attacks, 9 less than 2006, including a single suicide bombing in Eilat and another three that were intercepted in time. No let-up is expected next year. In 2007, Hamas smuggled into Gaza more than 80 tons of explosives for use in the fabrication of missiles and bombs, including roadside devices laid down against an Israeli military incursion. Al Qaeda and its Palestinian affiliates recently stepped up their participation in attacks, more conspicuously since Fatah al Islam set up operations in Gaza after being thrown out of its northern haven in Lebanon four months ago. Israeli officials said that Osama bin Laden’s threat to “liberate every inch of Palestine” is being taken seriously. The ShinShin BetBet reports that hundreds of Hamas operatives were smuggled through the Sinai tunnels out to Iran and Syria and back for special 2-6 month courses at facilities near Tehran and Damascus in commando combat and the manufacture and launching of missiles. Among them were officers and naval commandos. The ShinShin BetBet report notes that Hamas’ smuggling projects spread out from Gaza to the West Bank, where a new terror machine is taking shape. Local terrorist elements are being taught to manufacture and use Qassam missiles and high-trajectory weapons, thereby bringing Israel’s central coastal cities, including Tel Aviv, within range. Scores of West Bank Hamas activitists were also sent to Iran and Syria to study missile manufacture. During most of 2007, Iran’s Lebanese surrogate, Hizballah, funded the West Bank project at the rate of the equivalent of $10 million per month. The transfers slowed in recent months. The ShinShin BetBet reports that Hizballah is diverting more funds to building its own substantial new infrastructures in SouthSouth LebanonLebanon and north of the LitaniLitani RiverRiver.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |