THE CRUELTY OF WAR
On April 26, 2004, Bild Online published an exceptionally well-written, moving, disturbing and thought-provoking article pertaining to the terrors and problems of war. We are giving you excerpts from the article, in an English translation, as we feel that the terrible truth manifested in the article should make everybody realize the unspeakable tragedy of war — ANY war fought by humans in this world. War always leads to pain and suffering — and many times, those who suffer the most are innocent victims or “casualties” — exactly those very persons for whom, allegedly, the particular war had been fought in the first place.
The article was titled: “The other side of the war — The suffering of innocent children in Iraq.”
It was pointed out:
“Little Wiam Mohammed (4), of the Iraqi town of Fallujah, looks fearfully into the camera of the reporter. Her brown eyes are filled with tears. She is in pain. During a fight with US soldiers, her shoulder was injured. The wounds of her arm will heal — those of her soul may never heal.
“This is the sad story of the little Iraqi girl: Since April 5, the Americans had surrounded Fallujah. The situation has become critical. That is why Wiam’s parents decided to flee with their seven children to Baghdad. During their ‘flight,’ their car was shot at by American soldiers. Gofran (9), the oldest sister of Wiam, explains: ‘Bullets shattered against the car. The windows crashed. My mother and father were dead immediately. My younger brother was hit several times in the head. His face was totally distorted.’ Gofran’s sisters Saja (11) and Armal (5) also died during the shooting.
“Gofran continues: ‘I yelled for my mother, for my father — but I did not get an answer. I wept, then it was noticed that I was injured.’ The little girl sustained injuries at her right eye and her knee.
“The tragedy of Fallujah has destroyed a family. Gofran is now all alone with her sisters Doha (10), Khitam (5) and Wiam (4).
“The suffering of the children is the other, bitter side of the war. When U.S. President George W. Bush declared that major combat had ended, as of May 1, 2003… , hope erupted. Hope that finally peace would enter a country that had been demoralized by ex-dictator Saddam Hussein. But, one year later, neither fear nor brutality have disappeared.
“Occurrences, such as the one involving Wiam, happen nearly on a daily basis. Families are being destroyed, childhood and youth are being taken away from the children.
“Such as in the case of Hagar: The 14-year old girl from Baghdad lies in the hospital with extremely severe burns. Almost all of her face, her arms and her legs are burned. Natives wanted to attack American soldiers with shells. They missed and hit instead a farmer’s market.
“The bitter summary of the Iraq-war is this: Almost 700 soldiers of the allies and more than 10,000 civilians have been killed. Many families have lost their loved ones. Children weep for their parents, brothers and sisters. They grow up without any goal in life. Any hope that suffering, pain and fear would disappear, does still not exist one year after the official end of the Iraq war…”
ISRAEL “A GREAT POISON”?
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s top envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, called Israel “the great poison” in the Middle East, when he criticized Israel’s policy and U.S. support of it, according to Associated Press of April 24, 2004. He said that the establishment of an interim government in Iraq is being made more difficult by Israeli policy toward the Palestinians, claiming that the problems are linked. Brahimi’s daughter, Rym Brahimi, is engaged to Jordanian King Abdullah II’s half brother, Prince Ali. She announced that she will resign her job as CNN correspondent.
TONY BLAIR IN TROUBLE?
As Reuters reported on April 26, “a roll-call of former British diplomats blasted Tony Blair on Monday and said it was time for the prime minister to start influencing America’s ‘doomed’ policy in the Middle East or stop backing it.” The article continued: “In an unprecedented letter signed by 52 former ambassadors, high commissioners and governors — the top ranks of British diplomacy — Blair was urged to sway U.S. policy in the region as ‘matter of the highest urgency’… The protest letter comes as Blair faces DEEP DISCONTENT among voters for backing a U.S.-led war that MOST BRITONS HAD OPPOSED and for endorsing a Washington-driven policy that has put LONDON ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH ALLIES IN EUROPE.”
In a related article, AFP reported on April 24, 2004, that “Blair is facing a huge challenge in persuading Britons to back the proposed European Union constitution in a referendum, polls suggested…. Just 25 percent of voters said they believed Britain should sign up to the constitution. Meanwhile, 55 percent were against the move, and 19 percent were undecided.”
On April 25, 2004, AFP reported that “German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said the European Union must find a way of ensuring a first-ever constitution can go into force EVEN IF COUNTRIES LIKE BRITAIN REJECT IT IN NATIONAL REFERENDUMS.”
ATTACK ON U.S. POLICIES BY GERMAN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT
Germany’s candidate for President, Horst Koehler, has publicly condemned the United States because of its Iraq policy, according to Der Spiegel Online, dated April 24, 2004. He claimed that the U.S. has committed “serious mistakes,” has acted in an “arrogant” way, and has had no plan for Iraq after the war. He charged that the United States have become proud because of their power.
Koehler is the candidate for President of the German opposition parties, the CDU and the FDP.
ABORTION — AN ONGOING CURSE!
The true facts regarding aborted babies are gruesome and painful. In an article, dated April 24, reporting about the U.S. government’s defense of its partial-birth abortion ban against the industry’s lawsuit, Worldmag.com stated:
“Dr. Anand took the stand in the morning and testified for hours that unborn children can feel pain even more vividly than adults or even infants. He said that by 20 weeks fetuses have developed all the nerve and brain functions to feel pain, but none of the coping mechanisms that help infants and adults to deal with the sensation. According to Dr. Anand’s research, handling the fetus in the womb, delivering the child up to its head, slicing open its skull and sucking out the brains would all produce ‘prolonged and excruciating pain to the fetus.’ The evidence of fetal pain is not new. Dr. Anand studied expressions of pain in unborn and neonatal children as early as the 1980s…” The article explained that “the courtroom remains virtually journalist free,” due to “the gruesome nature of what goes on inside those clinics.”
In its Commentary, World Net Daily wrote on April 24, 2004 about several disturbing facts, related to abortion, including a “suspected link between abortion and breast cancer… [and a] new Internet abortion business in which the pro-choice crowd is teaching underage girls how to use powerful and dangerous drugs to induce abortions on themselves. In the past, these drugs have proven to be potentially fatal, even with medical supervisions. Now, the abortion industry is showing 13-year-olds how to get them without a prescription.”
In his strongly worded Commentary, Mark Crutcher stated in his conclusion: “The list goes on and on, but the point is that one would have to be either horribly stupid or hopelessly naive to believe that America’s abortion profiteers care about the welfare of their customers.”
To be perfectly clear, abortion — any kind of abortion — is a sin in God’s eyes. There are spiritual reasons for this, which are fully explained in our free booklet, “Are You Already Born Again?”
THE NEW EUROPE
Der Spiegel Online published this week a series of articles on the “new Europe.” Its cover portrays a woman riding a beast. The woman gathers ten stars, holding one in her hand. The magazine is attempting to portray the mythological story of Europe or Europa, daughter of a Phoenician king, who was kidnapped by the Greek god Zeus, appearing to her in the form of a bull. Zeus carried her, in his bull-like form, to the island of Crete. The entire continent received its name from Europe, who was later worshipped in Crete. The ten stars are supposed to portray the ten new nations joining Europe on May 1, 2004.
The parallels with the prophecy written down in Revelation 17, describing modern and future Europe, are quite remarkable. There, we are told that John saw, in vision, a woman riding a beast. She had in her hand a golden cup. Ten kings gave their power to the beast on which the woman sat. The Bible says that when this happens, Europe will rule for only a very short time — apparently for three and a half years. (Our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Europe and the Bull,” goes into this issue in more detail.)
The Bible predicts that Europe will become an extremely influential power bloc, in competition with and finally hostile toward the United States, and that it will ultimately be ruled by ten core nations or groups of nations, which, in turn, will give their power to a charismatic leader. In light of these predictions, the following excerpts from several articles should be interesting:
independent.co.uk explained on April 19, 2004:
“According to the [European] draft constitution, the presidency of Europe would no longer be rotated among the member states. Instead, the president would be elected by the heads of states of member countries for a term of two and a half years. Supporters feel this would create a central, agenda-setting figure, but smaller countries complain that presidency would be dominated by Europe’s major powers… The eventual aim is to have a common foreign policy… The draft also incorporates a Charter of Fundamental Rights for EU citizens, covering everything from the right to life to the right to strike.”
The Washington Times stated on April 20, 2004:
“The European Union is about to foist a draft constitution on all its New European members and Great Britain that will virtually ensure that, from now on, the French and Germans will be able, among other things, to enforce a single foreign and defense policy. Inevitably, the party line will more closely resemble THEIR ANTI-AMERICAN PREDILECTIONS than the trans-Atlantic reflexes of our traditional and new-found friends there… If the EU Constitution becomes binding on all member nations — including those of New Europe…, we are unlikely ever again to see the sort of independent, let alone reliable, support for America that has been among the finest moments in Great Britain’s storied history… The negative implications for the United States are not hard to discern… Georgetown Law Professor John Echeverria told the Times, ‘This [second-guessing American decisions by international tribunals] is the biggest threat to United States judicial independence that no one has heard of and even fewer people understand.’…
“After all, even without a constitution, the European Union has been hurting U.S. interests… BAD AS THINGS MAY BE AT THE MOMENT, THOUGH, THE VITAL INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES WILL BE EVEN WORSE SERVED BY A CONSTITUTION THAT AUTHORIZES THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE TO SEE TO IT THAT NEW EUROPE, GREAT BRITAIN AND ALL OTHER MEMBER STATES WILL ‘ACTIVELY AND UNRESERVEDLY SUPPORT THE UNION’S COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY IN A SPIRIT OF LOYALTY AND MUTUAL SOLIDARITY… [AND] ENSURE THAT THEIR NATIONAL POLICIES CONFORM TO THE POSITIONS OF THE UNION.”
As Focus Online pointed out in a series of articles, the new member states joining the European Union on May 1, 2004, will NOT immediately become full fledged members of the EU — a distinction between “new” and “old” Europe still remains. For instance, the new member states will, for the time being, keep their national currencies. They are supposed to introduce the Euro in the future, but they can only do so if they fulfill first certain economic requirements. European travelers traveling into the new member states will still have to go through passport controls. Customs will still apply for certain goods and services. Citizens of the new member states will still have to obtain work permits if they want to work in “old” Europe.