Cutting Edge Weekly Newsletter
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Saturday, August 5, 2006
Watch unbelievable footage in this new DVD that shows Palestinian TV teaching their children to hate and desire to kill Jews. See what a huge failure Peace efforts such as Oslow have been. You will be shocked and angered by what you see in this video
Fully dramatized - More than 50 voice actors, plus emotion-touching music and sound effects make this classic Pilgrim's Progress come alive for your student! Great for home school family devotions, Sunday Schools and personal and small group studies.
Over 5 hours on 5 CD's -- great for all ages, children
VOLUME 2 -- "Riddles In Stone: The Secret Architecture of Washington, D.C."
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The more you know about Christ the less will you be satisfied with superficial views of Him; and the more deeply you study His transactions in the eternal covenant, His engagements on your behalf as the eternal Surety, and the fullness of His grace which shines in all His offices, the more truly will you see the King in His beauty. Be much in such outlooks. Long more and more to see Jesus. Meditation and contemplation are often like windows of agate, and gates of carbuncle, through which we behold the Redeemer. Meditation puts the telescope to the eye, and enables us to see Jesus after a better sort than we could have seen Him if we had lived in the days of His flesh. Would that our conversation were more in heaven, and that we were more taken up with the person, the work, the beauty of our incarnate Lord. More meditation, and the beauty of the King would flash upon us with more resplendence.
Beloved, it is very probable that we shall have such a sight of our glorious King as we never had before, when we come to die. Many saints in dying have looked up from amidst the stormy waters, and have seen Jesus walking on the waves of the sea, and heard Him say, "It is I, be not afraid." Ah, yes! when the tenement begins to shake, and the clay falls away, we see Christ through the rifts, and between the rafters the sunlight of heaven comes streaming in. But if we want to see face to face the "King in His beauty" we must go to heaven for the sight, or the King must come here in person. O that He would come on the wings of the wind! He is our Husband, and we are widowed by His absence; He is our Brother dear and fair, and we are lonely without Him. Thick veils and clouds hang between our souls and their true life: when shall the day break and the shadows flee away? Oh, long-expected day, begin!
(C.H. Spurgeon, "Morning and Evening Devotions")
I. The global march toward the Mark of the Beast continued with an extremely pertinent news story this week showing the advance toward using Biometrics as a means of buying and selling rather than plastic credit and debit cards!
NEWS BRIEF: "Pay-By-Touch Shopping", MSNBC / Newsweek, July 17, 2006 issue
"Need to buy milk but forgot your wallet? No worries if you are one of the 2.5 million subscribers who've signed up to use biometric technology by Pay By Touch that links a photocopy like scan of your finger to a bank or credit-card account. Proponents of the tech, which is available in selected grocery stores in 44 states, say it saves time and helps guard against credit-card fraud. 'Debit cards were good', says Amer Hawatmeh, owner of Coast to Coast in Tampa, Fla., which just introduced the scans. 'But what could be better than your own finger?' "
In 1988, I read a most insightful book by Mary Relfe entitled, "When Your Money Fails". That book was certainly ahead of its time, as the author accurately foretold the sequence by which the Western world would progress from an economic system based upon cash to a system based upon the cashless "Mark of the Beast" system of Revelation 13:16-18.
Relfe felt that the last step before the False Prophet actually forces people to take the Mark of the Beast would be a fingerprint scan. You see, credit cards and checking accounts had already taken the peoples of the world into a system whereby they could regularly "buy and sell" without cash. Debit cards were just over the horizon -- today, they are widely used.
However, all these cashless systems were external systems and, as such, could be lost or stolen with regularity. Therefore, Relfe believed that the final step would entail going to your body for the identification needed to buy and sell. She felt strongly that the final step prior to the actual "Mark of the Beast" would be fingerprint scanning.
We seem to be at that stopping-off place now! This article demonstrates the prerequisite attitude quite clearly. "what could be better than your own finger?"
"Some prefer their plastic. 'We'll all have bar codes on the back of our necks in 10 years', says Stacey Minton, a Coast to Coast shopper who declined to sign up. 'As with any technology, people are leery at first', says Shannon Riordan, a Pay By Touch spokeswoman. But 'convenience wins in the end'."
Indeed, convenience will win in the end; in fact, I believe that people are going to be pre-conditioned to accept the ultimate Mark of the Beast by being told repeatedly how convenient it will be to them in their everyday lives.
What form will the ultimate "Mark of the Beast" take? Many people believe the ultimate "Mark" will be Digital Angel, the implantable chip now being popularized by Mass Media However, we believe this chip is too limited to perform all the functions the Bible prophecy requires of the ultimate "Mark".
Cutting Edge posted a series of articles two years ago on the only implantable chip into which our Federal Government is pouring untold sums of research money: M.M.E.A. These are our articles; we encourage you to read them carefully:
-- "D.A.R.P.A. IS FUNDING AN IMPLANTABLE CHIP FAR MORE ADVANCED
THAN 'DIGITAL ANGEL'! M.M.E.A. - MULTIPLE
ARRAY IS SO ADVANCED IT CAN FULFILL
REV 13:16-18! Part 1 of 5
- "D.A.R.P.A. IS FUNDING AN IMPLANTABLE CHIP FAR MORE
ADVANCED THAN 'DIGITAL ANGEL'! M.M.E.A. - MULTIPLE MICRO ELECTRODE
ARRAY - Part 2 of 5
- "M.M.E.A. - MULTIPLE MICRO ELECTRODE ARRAY IS SEEN
BY OCCULTISTS AS 'TRANSCENDENCE', A MEANS BY WHICH MANKIND SHALL
MAKE THAT 'PARADIGM JUMP' IN CONSCIOUSNESS TO BECOME GOD!"
- Part 3 of 5
- "M.M.E.A. - MULTIPLE MICRO ELECTRODE ARRAY IMPLANTABLE
CHIP -- IS IT JUST ANOTHER 'SATANIC INSERT' WHICH HAVE BEEN USED
BY COVENS FOR OVER 4,000 YEARS?" - Part 4 of 5
NEWS1875E - "M.M.E.A. - MULTIPLE MICRO ELECTRODE ARRAY IMPLANTABLE CHIP: BUYING AND SELLING IS EASIER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK! -- Part 5 of 5
The bottom line seems to be that the trend is moving toward using body parts for the identification needed to buy and sell without cash in our current society. However long this trend takes, the ultimate end will be that implantable chip forced upon the whole world by the False Prophet acting on behalf of Antichrist.
Just the fact that this new technology is now coming to the forefront is just another indication that the appearance of Antichrist is getting very close. But, why should we be surprised, for a great many End of the Age prophecies have either occurred, are about to occur, or the stage is being set for completion.
This story represents just one more "Sign of the Times".
II. Israel suffered her greatest single day of losses in this war against the Palestinian terror groups -- and it was on the 9th Day of Av (8/3, also known as Tisha B'Av), the traditional annual day of disaster and mourning for the Jewish state.
NEWS BRIEF: "Deadly Day For Israel: Victims Laid To Rest", The Jerusalem Post, August 4, 2006
"In Israel's bloodiest day since the confrontation with Hizbullah erupted over three weeks ago, eight civilians and four IDF soldiers were killed on Thursday, as the army prepared to deepen its ground incursion into Lebanon. The eight civilians all died, and dozens were wounded, during a massive rocket barrage on northern Israel in the afternoon, when more than 130 Katyushas hit within a 90-minute period."
"Three of the four soldiers were killed at close to noon when an antitank missile hit their tank during a firefight in Rajamin in the western sector. Two died instantly, while the third was mortally wounded."
NEWS BRIEF: "Names of Tisha B´Av Victims", Israel National News (Artuz), August 4, 2006
"The names of the victims of the missile attacks and the fallen soldiers over Tisha B'Av have been released. The fast day saw the highest death toll in a single day since the start of the war."
We do not feel it necessary to reprint the names of the 4 fallen soldiers and 8 civilian deaths here; we reprint a brief portion of this news article just to demonstrate that Israel did suffer these high losses on their day known as Tisah B'Av, or the 9th of Av, an annual day of mourning and expectation of disaster. We noted in the August 1 News Alert the dread Jewish people feel as the 9th of Av approaches. Since the length of the explanation precludes us from reprinting it here, we encourage you to go to that News Alert to read our full explanation.
Needless to say, some Israelites feel today that the nation suffered these heavy casualties because the day was Tisha B'Av.
As Israel was recoiling from her losses, the Iranian leader of Hezbollah bragged about her ability to strike targets within Israel at will.
NEWS BRIEF: "Hizbollah missiles can hit all of Israel", Bahrain Tribune, August 4, 2006
"One of the Iranian founders of Lebanon’s Hizbollah said in remarks published yesterday that the Shia militia group had missiles which 'leave no spot in Israel unreachable. Hizbollah’s arsenal not only includes Katyusha missiles, but also Zelz Al 2 missiles, which could hit targets as far as 250 kilometres, leaving no spot in Israel unreachable', Ali Akbar Mohtashami-Pour told the centrist Shargh newspaper."
Since Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying the missiles to Hezbollah which were pummeling Israeli positions, this Iranian Hezbollah leader resolutely refused to state from which nation they were supplied. However, he quickly stated that these missiles did NOT come from Iran. He then bragged about specific Israeli targets they could reach.
"“The reason we have aimed at Haifa is because it is a vital target .... but if it is deemed necessary we will target Tel Aviv', Safeyodin was quoted as saying ... In an overt show of support, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed on Wednesday that the US will receive 'a destructive punch' for its support for 'Zionists', and called on Muslims to stand up against US 'bullying and aggression'."
“ 'Muslims everywhere must know that the only way to fight the savage wolf of Zionism and the Great Satan’s aggression is devoted resistance', Khamenei said."
However, breaking news on today, Saturday, August 5, revealed that Iran had finally acknowledged that she did supply these long-range missiles to Hezbollah. Listen:
NEWS BRIEF: "Iran Admits: We supplied Zelzal-2 Long-Range Missile to Hizbullah", The Jerusalem Post, August 4, 2006
"Iran admitted for the first time on Friday that it did indeed supply long-range Zelzal-2 missiles to Hizbullah. Secretary-general of the 'Intifada conference' Mohtashami Pur told an Iranian newspaper that Iran transferred the missiles so that they could be used to defend Lebanon, Channel 1 reported. The extent of Iran's intimate involvement in Hizbullah attacks is starting to emerge.
"According to the defense establishment, the reason Hizbullah has not fired long-range Iranian-made Fajr missiles at Israel is due to Teheran's opposition. Israel now understands that without direct orders from the ayatollahs, Hizbullah is not allowed to use Iranian missiles in attacks against Israel. "
"The IDF also believes that it seriously damaged the long-range rocket array in the first night of air strikes almost three weeks ago and impaired Hizbullah's ability to fire the rockets. "
It is highly likely that Iran did not intend for the war between Israel and Hezbollah to begin this way, with Israel attacking on her own terms, and with her own timing. Rather, it is likely that Iran intended the war to occur when Iran was preparing to go to war with Israel, some time down the road; if Israel's attack was truly "pre-emptive", then Iran was undoubtedly caught off guard and might truly have issued orders for the missiles to not be used at this time.
Recent polls conducted in the United States show that Americans have despaired over the possibility that peace could ever exist between Israel and her Islamic enemies. This next segment illustrates very well why peace cannot ever occur between these two very ancient peoples.
You will be shocked to realize the parallels between current Islamic thinking and the thinking of Hitler and Stalin.
NEWS BRIEF: "Hezbollah's Nazi roots: Across the Middle East, radical Islamists yearn for a new Holocaust", Canada's National Post, Friday, August 04, 2006
"This is the first Middle East war in which the main threat to Israel comes, not from secular Arab nationalism, but from Islamism. Both Hezbollah and Hamas draw their main inspiration, armaments and funding from Islamist sources ... What unites them all is a fanatical dedication to the destruction of Israel."
"Sounding like a modern-day Hitler, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this week repeated his call for the 'elimination' of Israel, home to six million Jews. Hezbollah, Iran's proxy army in Lebanon, shares that objective. Its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has urged the world's Jews to collect in Israel in order to facilitate the task of exterminating them."
Let us repeat that last sentence, for it is simply pregnant with meaning, once you understand what it is truly saying.
"Nasrallah has urged the world's Jews to collect in Israel in order to facilitate the task of exterminating them."
What a profound statement! Regional Islamic leaders actually want all the world's Jews to gather within the tiny state of Israel so they can be eliminated that much more easily! As radical as that thinking may sound to you, it is not a new idea. Have you ever wondered at the historic oddity of the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Josef Stalin, not using its Security Council veto power in 1947 to prevent the United Nations from authorizing Israel to be restored as a nation?
For centuries before Hitler arose to power, Russia was known as the world's most virulantly anti-semitic nation. The very word, "pogrom" originated from the Russian language (Tormont Webster's Illustrated Dictionary, p. 1308). Hatred of Jews has run deeply within the Russian collective consciousness for many centuries; further, that hatred was shared by Stalin and his Communist leadership.
Since this is the case, why did Stalin refuse to use Russia's veto authority in the UN Security Council when the vote was taken to authorize the Jews to return to their land to re-establish Israel? Stalin took serious note of the extreme difficulty Hitler's SS and regular armed forces had rounding up Jews from all throughout Eastern Europe and Russia and then transport them to selected death camps. The logistical strain was enough to cost Hitler the war because he literally had to constantly choose which effort he would support to the hilt -- the war or the extermination of Jews.
Since Hitler was driven by the demonic host called into him by rituals of The Thule Society, he consistently made the decision to give the fuel and the railroad assets to the extermination effort, even though it meant German soldiers at the Russian and Allied fronts went without desperately needed supplies. Untold tens of thousands of fine German soldiers lost their lives because Hitler consistently made the decision to fully fund the Jewish slaughter effort -- and Germany lost the war. (A full accounting of this story can be found in two books, "The Nazi Doctors" by Robert Jay Lifton and "The Spear of Destiny" by Trevor Ravenscroft).
Therefore, Stalin did not cast his veto vote to prevent the United Nations from creating Israel, because he reckoned that the Jews could be more efficiently slaughtered at some future date if they were encouraged to all come to the tiny land of Israel. This strategy would not require any logistical assets to draw all the Jews together to the extermination camp. The entire Jewish nation would become one large death camp.
In this regard, the current thinking of Islamic leaders parallels the thinking of Communist dictator, Josef Stalin, in 1947.
Now, let us return to our featured news article.
"One thing that Arab nationalists and Islamists clearly have in common, though it is usually ignored in the Western media, is their explicit debt to the Nazis. This extends even to overt Nazi symbolism ... With houses in the Israeli town of Metullah in the background, hundreds of uniformed Hezbollah terrorists are raising their arms in a Nazi-style salute. This obscene ceremony, complete with yellow standards and mullah commanders taking the salute, was happening in full view of Israeli civilians. Mr. Gross asks pointedly, 'Are all those now attacking Israel around the world even capable of imagining what an elderly Holocaust survivor who happened to glance across the fence might have felt?' " (Emphasis added)
Not only did the Nazis create the salute Hezbollah fighters are using, they forced Jews to wear yellow armbands!
"The Nazi legacy also manifests itself in Holocaust denial or revisionism, a Middle Eastern obsession that unites the most extreme Islamists, including Iran's president, with "moderate" secularists such as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas." (Ibid.)
Not only has the current Iranian President echoed the theme of denying that the Holocaust never happened, but he proposed sponsoring a global conference which would officially deny the Holocaust.
Truly, the specter of the deadly anti-semitism of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin rises over the current Middle East, having poisoned the minds of Islamic leaders and citizens across the entire Middle East. Virtually all Muslims in the region want the Jews exterminated.
In this regard, let us review the prophetic warning of how God is going to determine which nation(s) come under His judgment axe.
Please understand that God is going to carry out many slaughters of people and armies during the entire "Day of the Lord". That time period is generally considered to begin during the final war to produce Antichrist, to continue throughout the seven-year Tribulation, and then begin again once Satan is loosed from his 1,000 years of captivity so he can go forth to deceive the nations one last time.
Now you should understand why it is prophetically impossible for Israel to ever enjoy peace with her Islamic neighbors.
IV. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert issued a bold, clarion call for a tough, "robust" international peacekeeping force to be stationed just north of the Lebanese border What was really shocking, however, was his call for German troops.
NEWS BRIEF: "PM Olmert Calls For Foreign Troops", The Jerusalem Post, August 3, 2006
"The international force Israel is seeking in southern Lebanon needs to be comprised of some 15,000 troops, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told British newspapers on Wednesday."
Prime Minister Olmert has been speaking so much about the necessity of foreign peacekeepers lately a person can be forgiven if he believes that this might have been the end goal all along. Indeed, as we stated in our newsletter of two weeks ago, one of the elements which would assure Israeli citizens that the country would be safe even if it withdrew from the West Bank might be a strong, "robust" foreign peacekeeping force. Such a force would have to be heavily armed, probably with strong armored units. Such a force would have to be aggressively led, and free from political entanglements, so that it could forcibly disarm Hezbollah and pursue any attackers with vigor.
The Israeli Prime Minister spoke to those concerns.
"It has to be made up of armies, not of retirees, of real soldiers, not of pensioners who have come to spend leisurely months in south Lebanon, but, rather, an army with combat units that is prepared to implement the UN resolution. I think it has to have about 15,000 soldiers. I think that's more or less what the international community understands," Olmert told the Times and the Telegraph."
* "Armies -- not retirees"
* "Real soldiers, not pensioners who have come to spend leisurely months in south Lebanon.
* An army with real combat units, prepared to fight
This is the peacekeeping force Olmert had in mind. But, then he delivers a rousing shock -- he would authorize those tough troops to be German!
NEWS BRIEF: "Israel's Olmert favours Germans in Lebanon international peacekeeping force", New Zealand Herald, Friday August 4, 2006
"BERLIN - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would welcome the participation of German soldiers in a stabilisation force in South Lebanon, he said in an interview with a German newspaper today. 'I have informed (German) Chancellor Angela Merkel that we have absolutely no problem having German troops in South Lebanon', Olmert told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung ... 'There is no other nation that Israel considers more of a friend that Germany ... I would be very happy if Germany participated ' ...."
Now, that has to be quite a shocking turnaround! An Israeli Prime Minister inviting strong, vital and aggressively led German units to be positioned right on Israel's northern border with Lebanon! Those Jews who vividly remember the historical reality of the Holocaust have to be surprised beyond belief -- as only 61 years have passed since the last Nazi extermination camp was closed!
This next news segment speaks exactly to this kind of response.
"The German government has not ruled out sending troops to the Middle East but many citizens are uneasy about sending soldiers to the region some 60 years after the Holocaust."
Isn't it interesting that, at the same time Muslims throughout the world are leading the way to a vigorous denial of the historicity of the Nazi Holocaust against the Jew, mainstream Jews led by the likes of Olmert, are suddenly so comfortable they can invite heavily armed German troops to their northern border?
V. Jordan's King warned yesterday that the all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon was severely weakening Moderate Arab influence throughout the region, even to the point of causing some Moderate regimes to fall.
NEWS BRIEF: "Jordan's king says Arab moderates weakened", The State, August 3, 2006
"AMMAN, Jordan - Jordan's king warned the United States and Israel Thursday that the fighting in Lebanon has weakened moderates across the Mideast. Even if Hezbollah is destroyed, the hostility toward Israel is so high that another such group could pop up in Syria, Egypt, Iraq - or even his own country, King Abdullah II was quoted as saying ... 'The Arab people see Hezbollah as a hero because it's fighting Israel's aggression," he said. 'This is a fact that the U.S. and Israel must realize'..."
Pardon me, but this "moderate" Jordanian King must understand this hard reality: as we stated above, the vast majority of every Arab citizen throughout the Middle East hates the Jew with a vengeance -- a hatred that these type of Muslims hope will one day result in the violent death of every Jew alive. Furthermore, Islamic terrorists have been murdering babies, men, women and children in suicide attacks since 1982.
Israel has every right to defend herself against this type of enemy, who boldly arms itself on the northern border, inside Lebanon, with arms capable of wreaking real havoc and death deep inside Israel. Remember, too, this Arab enemy disperses its key assets and offices inside civilian areas so that civilian casualties will inevitably occur. We do not excuse Israel of all culpability, but by and large, the evidence seems to suggest that Israel is credibly fighting a ruthless enemy who will stop at nothing to discredit and destroy Israel.
Let us now return to this featured article:
"Abdullah and other Arab moderates, such as the Egyptian and Saudi leaders, have warned recently that the fighting was hurting any hope for reviving Mideast peacemaking. In a joint interview with the Al Rai and Al Ghad dailies, Abdullah said Israel's 'aggression has exceeded all limits and must stop immediately'.He warned that Israeli attacks in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories have created 'despair in the whole region' and 'weakened the voice of moderation'." (Ibid.)
Cutting Edge has always maintained that labels are erroneous and should be avoided at all times. Whether the label is Republican, Democrat, Moderate, or Extremist, it always serves more to mislead than to accurately portray a correct picture. In this case, what have "moderate" Muslim leaders done to bring peace to the region and allow Israel to peacefully coexist with her neighbors?
* Egypt has gone to war against Israel in 1948, 1954, 1967, and 1973. Even though Anwar Sadat's successors have largely adhered to the peace treaty with Israel, her armies annually carry out mock war games, each one simulating an all-out attack on Israel.
* Saudi Arabia is thought of as a "moderate" voice in the region, but she is home of the most radical of all Muslim sects -- the Wahabbi.
* Jordan has gone to war with Israel in most of the years mentioned above. Once King Hussein took over the controls of Jordan, his leadership has generally been thought of as "moderate". Yet, each time Israel has been at the brink of really destroying Palestinian terror groups, Jordan has been at the forefront of applying diplomatic pressure to stop Israel from finally destroying her implacable terrorist enemies.
But, the king is right on one subject: Israel's war against Palestinian terror groups, plus America's aggressive war against the Iraqi's, have completely infuriated Muslims throughout the region against anything Western. As we stated in our numerous articles, "Blood In The Streets", Western powers seemed to be following a strategy of deliberately trying to trigger the militarily inferior Muslim nations into attacking Western interests throughout the Middle East, especially Israel.
Note the Muslim nations mentioned in this article, keeping the repeated waves of armies in mind who are prophesied as marching against Israel.
VI. Top American generals, flanking Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, faced a Senate panel and uttered some of the most shocking words of this entire sorry war.
NEWS BRIEF: "Comments are the most dire the military has made yet on the conflict", Chron.com News, August 4, 2006
"WASHINGTON — Two top U.S. generals said Thursday that the sectarian violence in Iraq is much worse than they had ever anticipated and could lead to civil war, arguing that improving the situation is now more a matter of Iraqi political will than of U.S. military strategy. ... 'The sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it', Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. military operations in the Middle East, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. ... If not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war'."
Don't you find it a little unnerving when the two top generals to whom the Iraq war has been entrusted admit to Senators on nationwide TV that the "sectarian violence in Iraq is much worse than they had ever anticipated"? We pay our politicians and top military officers to correctly assess a problem and then devise the proper strategy to solve that problem. At the very least, these generals have failed to accomplish this minimal task.
However, we do appreciate the fact that these generals -- with Secretary Rumsfeld in their midst -- confirmed that the likely end of this sorry war is exactly what Cutting Edge said three years ago -- a civil war which allows the Kurds to be free from Sunni and Shi'ite control; in this article, we noted that the Kurds were likely to be split apart so they could fulfill God's prophesy of them in the Last Days, in Babylon (Iraq). This old article is becoming most relevant today, so we encourage you to read it in full.
Now, let us return to our featured article for much more information:
"The testimony from Abizaid and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, was the military's most dire assessment of conditions in Iraq since the war began 40 months ago. It echoed the opinion of Britain's outgoing ambassador to Iraq, who, in a confidential memo revealed Thursday, told Prime Minister Tony Blair that a de facto partition of Iraq is more likely than a transition to democracy ... "
This next segment will probably surprise you, for it raises practical and legal questions not publicized before.
"Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said the administration may need to seek new authorization from Congress to allow U.S. troops to fight in a civil war. Originally, U.S. forces were authorized to topple Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party. Senators from both parties questioned whether troops were adequately trained to fight in a civil war. If it comes to that, asked Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., 'which side are we on?' "
Secretary Rumsfeld chose to ignore this question, calling it speculative, saying that the situation did not have to get this bad, because he was confident the Iraqi leadership and people would "seize the moment" to rule and reign their own country. As I read this, I could sense the ghost of President Nixon and his Defense Secretary MacNamara, as they uttered the same platitudes about the ability of the South Vietnamese government and Army holding the country together after American troops left. But, as history records, the North Vietnamese waited almost two years before launching their invasion -- and the South collapsed like a house of cards.
But, at least, President Nixon and Defense Secretary MacNamara looked like heroes for nearly two years!
Indeed, American soldiers fighting in Iraq certainly believe civil war has already come to Iraq.
NEWS BRIEF: "From soldiers' view, civil war in Iraq has started", The Seattle Times, August 5, 2006
"BAGHDAD, Iraq — While American politicians and generals in Washington discuss the possibility of civil war in Iraq, many U.S. officers and enlisted men who patrol Baghdad say it already has begun. Army troops in and around the capital interviewed in the past week cite a long list of evidence that the center of the nation is coming undone: Villages have been abandoned by Sunni and Shiite Muslims; Sunni insurgents have killed thousands of Shiites in car bombings and assassinations; Shiite militia death squads have tortured and killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Sunnis; and, when night falls, neighborhoods become open battlegrounds."
"The bodies of captured Sunni and Shiite fighters turn up in the morning, dropped in canals and left on the side of the road. Higher-ranking U.S. officers concede that developments are threatening to move beyond their grasp. 'There's no plan — we are constantly reacting', said a senior military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. 'I have absolutely no idea what we're going to do'."
Those are sobering words from "senior" military officials, revealing an unacceptable reality:
* "There's no plan"
* "I have absolutely no idea what we're going to do"
Senior Iraqi officials also believe the country has already slipped into civil war.
"This is a civil war," said a senior adviser to the commander of the Iraqi Army's 6th Division, which oversees much of Baghdad. 'The problem between Sunnis and Shiites is a religious one, and it gets worse every time they attack each other's mosques. "Iraq is now caught in hell."
I believe that Iraq has, indeed, already slipped into civil war. Whenever 100 people from all sides of the conflict -- Kurds, Sunnis, Shi'ites -- are dying daily, that is a civil war.
"... violence now claims 100 victims a day, according to one report, and Baghdad is not secure. Recent pledges from President Bush that the U.S. might be able to begin reducing the number of troops in Iraq were upended when the Pentagon announced recently that 3,700 troops who had been planning to return home over the next two weeks will be sent to Baghdad for as long as four months. Both generals told the committee they could not say when the insurgency would be defeated, when Iraqi militias might be disbanded, when Iraqi forces would be strong enough to fight on their own, or when U.S. troops could withdraw. Abizaid said he expects Iraq to 'move toward equilibrium ... in the next five years'."
Five years? By that time, too many Iraqi civilians will be dying of Depleted Uranium poisoning that the genocide cannot be hidden any longer. Surely, American troops have to be out before hundreds of bodies per day are going to be carted to mass graves by dump truck!
NEWS BRIEF: "Probe Backs Allegations Against Marines", The Guardian (London), Thursday August 3, 2006
"WASHINGTON (AP) - An initial U.S. military probe supports allegations that American Marines deliberately shot 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha last November, a Pentagon official said Wednesday. The Marine Corps and Navy prosecutors are now reviewing the evidence to determine whether to recommend criminal charges ... They discussed the matter on condition they not be identified because the case - among the most sensational of several involving Iraqi civilian deaths - has not yet produced charges ... The case is open because prosecutors and officers in the chain of command of the Marines being investigated may consult with the naval investigation service even after any charges are brought."
"Investigators conducted a wide range of interviews with Marines in Iraq and with Iraqis in Haditha, but they failed to obtain permission to exhume the bodies of the 24 who were killed, two officials said. Nonetheless the probe did collect evidence from the Marines and from the scene of the killings. The case is one of several involving allegations of unjustified killings of Iraqi civilians that have emerged this year, damaging the U.S. image abroad and triggering calls by some Iraqi leaders to end the arrangement under which U.S. troops are immune from prosecution by Iraqi authorities."
This next segment tells the basic facts of this murder investigation, in case you missed the original stories.
"The Marines initially reported after the Nov. 19, 2005, killings at Haditha that 15 Iraqi civilians had been killed by a makeshift roadside bomb and in crossfire between Marines and insurgent attackers. Based on accounts from survivors and human rights groups, Time magazine reported in March that the killings were deliberate acts by the Marines ... A parallel investigation is examining whether officers in the Marines' chain of command tried to cover up the events. That probe, which has not been made public, faults some officers for failing to pursue discrepancies in the initial reports about what happened in Haditha and for not launching an early investigation."
"Public attention on the Haditha case grew after Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a former Marine, asserted on May 17 that he had learned from Marine Corps officials that innocent Iraqis had been killed 'in cold blood'.''
In defense, lawyers of the accused stated that they were just following explicit orders to kill every Iraqi male who could serve the insurgency!
NEWS BRIEF: "Black Hawk Down hero 'told men to kill all Iraqis': Accused soldiers’ defence that they were following orders to kill all military-aged males", Times Online, August 3, 2006
"AN AMERICAN soldier told a military tribunal in Iraq yesterday how his comrades smiled before shooting dead three handcuffed Iraqi prisoners and threatened to kill him if he told anyone what they had done. The murder charges, already controversial for a military prosecuting cases of massacre, rape and murder by its troops in Iraq, has been made all the more difficult for the Army by the accused soldiers’ defence that they were following orders to kill all military-aged males."
"The trial, held at a US army base in Saddam Hussein’s home town of Tikrit, heard testimony from Private Bradley Mason that three of his comrades bound and shot three Iraqi prisoners during a raid on a suspected al-Qaeda training camp on a river island near Samarra ... The soldiers, from the 3rd Combat Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, arrived early on the morning of May 9 at the suspected base in a disused chemical factory by helicopter ... Private Mason said that Staff Sergeant Raymond Girouard, the squad leader, told him that two of the defendants, Private Corey Clagett and Specialist William Hunsaker, were going to kill the detainees.
“They just smiled,” he said, describing the men’s reaction to Sergeant Girouard’s comment. “I told him that I’m not down with it. It’s murder,” Private Mason said. He then reported gunshots and found the detainees dead. He said that Sergeant Girouard then warned him: 'If you say anything I’ll kill you'.”
VII. The world may soon be bidding farewell to Fidel Castro!
NEWS BRIEF: "Bidding Fidel Farewell", L.A. Times, August 3, 2006
"EVEN IF FIDEL CASTRO recovers fully from surgery, it is clear that the "sharp intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding" announced Monday to a stunned people weary of his half a century of misrule marks the start of Cuba's transition to the post-Fidel era. Beyond the immediate questions about the true state of el comandante's health, the intriguing issues are whether the communist regime can outlive its creator and whether the outside world has a say in the matter. Castro has clearly been haunted by this question, as evidenced by his brutal crackdown in recent years on any form of political dissent or economic liberalization. Cuba is a basket case, partly getting by on Venezuelan handouts. There is no reason to believe that Castro's acolytes will be able to keep the Stalinist theme park intact for very long after his death. But there's no way of knowing how long and how messy the transition will be."
"Fidel's brother, Raul, has been handed the reins of power temporarily. Although long regarded as the regime's bad cop, overseeing the military and security apparatus, Raul is a proponent of some of the economic reforms that Fidel rejected ... The White House has long planned for this moment, but the U.S. approach is at once too little and too much. It is not ambitious enough to convince Cubans that the U.S. will help improve their living standards, yet it is political enough to come across as more Yankee meddling."
President Bush engaged in a little "Yankee Meddling" of his own.
NEWS BRIEF: "Bush calls for democracy in Cuba", Al Jazeera News, Friday 04 August 2006
"George Bush has told Cubans he would help them work for democratic change should the rule of Fidel Castro be nearing an end. In his first public comments since Castro temporarily transferred power to his brother, Raul, due to illness Bush said on Thursday: "We have repeatedly said that the Cuban people deserve to live in freedom. 'We will support you in your effort to build a transitional government in Cuba committed to democracy, and we will take note of those, in the current Cuban regime, who obstruct your desire for a free Cuba'."
It seems doubtful that present Cuban leadership will take kindly to Bush offering "Democracy". But, unless Russia or Venezuela steps in with huge amounts of money and maybe police and military reinforcements, it seems doubtful that Fidel's successors could hold on for long. Indeed, the point of transition will be interesting.
We shall soon address how the Cuban exiles living in Florida are reacting to this turn of events. That could really be interesting!
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(C.H. Spurgeon, "Morning and Evening Devotions")
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