Iran’s Atomic Bomb?
On August 28, 2004, WorldNetDaily.com published an article on Iran’s preparations to accelerate uranium enrichment in violation of Tehran’s pledge to the European Union, according to Israeli sources. The article claimed that Iran plans to acquire enough enriched uranium to assemble its first nuclear weapons in 2007. It quoted the U.S. government as follows: “If we permit Iran’s deception to go on much longer, it will be too late… Iran will have nuclear weapons.”
It was also alleged that “Tehran has told Britain, France and Germany that Iran could enrich enough uranium for a nuclear weapon within a year… The Israeli intelligence assessment asserted that Iran would acquire indigenous nuclear weapons capability in 2007 and produce its first atomic bombs in 2008.”
At the same time, a U.N. report claimed that there is no evidence that Iran is accelerating uranium enrichment.
This World Still Turns…
While the American public has been fixated on the upcoming governmental election for the U.S. Presidency, watching every speech of both the Democratic and the Republican conventions, the world’s problems, unaffected by America’s political campaigns, have not decreased, by any standard.
We do not endorse any candidate or party. Instead, we are observing events in the U.S., as well as in all the world, which might very likely affect your future, based on Biblical prophecy. And so, let us give you, first, a very brief overview of this week’s events, taken from articles from Wednesday, September 1, 2004, followed by a selection of more in-depth quotes and analysis:
“More than a dozen militants wearing suicide-bomb belts seized a southern Russian school in a region bordering Chechnya on Wednesday, taking hostage about 400 people — half of them children — and threatening to blow up the building if police storm it. At least eight people have been killed, one of them a school parent” (AP).
“Russia deployed extra troops to guard dozens of nuclear facilities across the country on Wednesday after militants seized a school in the south and a suicide bomb attack in Moscow, the nuclear authority said” (Reuters).
“Distraught Moscow residents laid flowers Wednesday outside a subway station where a suicide bomber killed 10 people, while a militant Muslim group that claimed responsibility for the crash of two Russian airliners last week said it was also behind the latest attack” (AP).
“Israeli troops closed off a West Bank city and Palestinian militants celebrated after Hamas blew up two buses, seconds apart, in the desert town of Beersheba, killing 16 Israelis and ending a months-long lull in suicide attacks” (AP).
“Israel threatened Syria on Wednesday after Palestinian suicide bombers killed 16 people in the first such attacks in the Jewish state in nearly six months” (Reuters).
“Israel vowed a global pursuit of Hamas leaders and to accelerate construction of its West Bank barrier after the deadliest Palestinian attack in nearly a year” (AFP).
“A U.N. report called Wednesday for a quick increase in the international monitoring force in Sudan, saying the government has not stopped attacks against civilians or disarmed marauding militias” (AP).
“France frantically called on Arab leaders and Muslim religious leaders Wednesday to help save two journalists kidnapped in Iraq, setting in motion a swell of solidarity unseen in previous hostage dramas” (AP).
“Pope John Paul, echoing appeals by Muslim leaders, called Wednesday for the release of two French journalists held hostage in Iraq as France’s foreign minister pressed on with a Middle East rescue mission… A report by the Dubai-based Al Arabiya television that Iraqi militants had released seven hostages from Kenya, India and Egypt could also give France some cause for hope. But the killing of 12 Nepali hostages by a separate group of militants highlighted the gravity of the situation. Pictures of those killings appeared on an Islamist Web site Tuesday… The kidnappings have stunned France, which led opposition to the U.S.- led war and objected to pre-war sanctions against Iraq. It was also a shock to a country which prides itself on its relations with the Arab world” (Reuters).
“Thousands of people rampaged through Kathmandu, setting fire to a mosque and Arab targets and ransacking employment agencies after 12 Nepalese hostages were murdered in Iraq” (AFP).
“Saboteurs attacked an oil pipeline in southern Iraq over the weekend, sending up pillars of smoke and bringing a slowdown in supply. It was by no means an isolated incident” (OneWorld.net).
“After a devastating deluge that left over 700 dead, rendered millions homeless and washed away the harvest, over 20 million people in the eastern Indian state of Bihar are faced [with] starvation and disease, with food riots and three starvation deaths reported so far” (OneWorld.net).
Muslims Go to Heaven?
If the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, were to be believed, Muslims will go to heaven after death, according to an article published by news.telegraph.co.uk, on August 30, 2004. The article quoted Williams as saying that he “reminded Christians that they did not have a monopoly on the afterlife.” The article continued: “He surprised some… by declaring that Muslims can go to heaven. Dr Williams said that neither he nor any Christian could control access to heaven. ‘It is possible for God’s spirit to cross boundaries,’ he said. ‘I say this as someone who is quite happy to say that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except by Jesus. But how God leads people through Jesus to heaven, that can be quite varied, I think.'”
However, Dr. Williams is wrong on both counts. The Bible is clear that there is no “salvation in any other” but Christ (Acts 4:12). As long as we are not TRUE Christians, we will NOT be saved. At the same time, even true Christians don’t go to heaven, when they die. No human being does, or did, except for Jesus Christ Himself (compare John 3:13). For a full discussion of this important subject, please read our free booklet, “Do We Have an Immortal Soul?”
Britain kidnapped by EU?
AFP reported about an attack of Anti-EU papers against Brussels for an alleged “‘hijack’ of Olympics.” In its article of August 31, 2004, it stated: “The European Commission spokesman might only have been joking when he hailed the collective success of the European Union at the Olympics, but for the vehemently anti-Brussels press it was no laughing matter. Two of the most strongly anti-EU newspaper[s] reacted with horror on Tuesday to Reijo Kemppinen’s light-hearted comment that the 25-member bloc had ‘swept the floor’ at the Athens Games with a collective tally of 82 gold medals. They were equally aghast at a suggestion by outgoing European Commission president Romano Prodi that EU member teams could fly the European Union flag alongside their own national emblem at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.”
Especially The Sun, the country’s best-selling daily paper, attacked Romano Prodi with these strong words: “Mr Prodi, a failed Italian politician, is about to step down after a dismal term as EU president. He has infuriated critics by spelling out his vision for an EU superstate, dubbed the ‘Holy Romano Empire.’ The article disapproved of other statements as well, continuing: “German Ingo Friedrich, vice-president of the Euro Parliament, insisted medals must be listed under the EU to ‘foster a European identity.'”
The anti-European movement is strong in Britain. Bible prophecies strongly indicate that Britain will not be a member of the future EU.
Schwarzenegger Speaks Out
In his first nationwide televised address, since he became California’s new governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered a passionate speech on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention. The following excerpts from his speech show that Schwarzenegger, a “liberal” Republican, who is in disagreement with numerous issues of his own party leadership, might very well play an important role in the future of the United States:
“I was born in Europe …and I’ve traveled all over the world. I can tell you that there is no place, no country, more compassionate, more generous, more accepting and more welcoming than the United States of America… When I was a boy, the Soviets occupied part of Austria. I saw their tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes. I remember the fear we had when we had to cross into the Soviet sector. Growing up, we were told, ‘Don’t look the soldiers in the eye. Look straight ahead.’ It was a common belief that Soviet soldiers could take a man out of his own car and ship him off to the Soviet Union as slave labor.
“My family didn’t have a car — but one day we were in my uncle’s car. It was near dark as we came to a Soviet checkpoint. I was a little boy, I wasn’t an action hero back then, and I remember how scared I was that the soldiers would pull my father or my uncle out of the car and I’d never see him again. My family and so many others lived in fear of the Soviet boot. Today, the world no longer fears the Soviet Union and it is because of the United States of America!…
“I finally arrived here in 1968. I had empty pockets, but I was full of dreams. The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon and Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend who spoke German and English, translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which is what I had just left. But then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting government off your back, lowering taxes and strengthening the military. Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.”
Later on in his speech, Schwarzenegger addressed principles of leadership and the role of America in the world. He stated:
“My fellow Americans, make no mistake about it, terrorism is more insidious than communism, because it yearns to destroy not just the individual, but the entire international order. The President didn’t go into Iraq because the polls told him it was popular. As a matter of fact, the polls said just the opposite. But leadership isn’t about polls. It’s about making decisions you think are right and then standing behind those decisions…
“We’re the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children. We’re the America that sends out missionaries and doctors to raise up the poor and the sick. We’re the America that gives more than any other country, to fight [AIDS] in Africa and the developing world. And we’re the America that fights not for imperialism but for human rights and democracy. You know, when the Germans brought down the Berlin Wall, America’s determination helped wield the sledgehammers. When that lone, young Chinese man stood in front of those tanks in Tiananmen Square, America’s hopes stood with him. And when Nelson Mandela smiled in election victory after all those years in prison, America celebrated, too.
“We are still the lamp lighting the world especially for those who struggle. No matter in what labor camp they slave, no matter in what injustice they’re trapped — they hear our call … they see our light … and they feel the pull of our freedom. They come here as I did because they believe. They believe in us. They come because their hearts say to them, as mine did, ‘If only I can get to America.’ Someone once wrote — ‘There are those who say that freedom is nothing but a dream.’ They are right. It’s the American dream.”
Reuters reported on August 31, 2004, that evidence may exist that the recent Russian airline crashes were caused by al Qaeda. The article stated: “Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday investigators were probing a possible link between al Qaeda and Chechen rebels widely believed to have downed two passenger planes a week ago.” Putin also defended the most recent election in Chechnya. The article pointed out: “At a meeting with the leaders of France and Germany, Putin also defended Sunday’s election in the turbulent Chechnya region, which was denounced by rights groups as stage-managed, and by Washington and the European Union as seriously flawed.”
Putin had also been criticized for his uncompromising and sometimes brutal dealings with the “Chechnya problem.” The article continued: “Putin, who sent Russian troops back to Chechnya in 1999 to cement his image as a strong leader ahead of his own election, has repeatedly said ‘foreign terrorists’ were driving a rebel insurgence in the region on Russia’s southern rim. He told Chirac and Schroeder he would never allow Russia to splinter and its territorial integrity was beyond question.”
Putin’s claims are not unchallenged. As Reuters reported: “Last week an Islamist group calling itself Islambouli made an Internet claim that its followers had brought down the two planes on August 24, killing 90 people, to avenge the killing of Muslims by Russia in Chechnya. Moderate Chechen separatists accused Russia’s special forces of spreading misinformation and denied any link to the group.”
Sanctions Against the U.S.
Associated Press reported on August 31, 2004, that “The World Trade Organization decided Tuesday to authorize the imposition of sanctions against the United States by the European Union and other leading U.S. trade partners in response to illegal antidumping rules, officials said.” It is, however, uncertain, whether the EU will impose sanctions, or whether they will use the decision of the WTO to compel the U.S. to repeal their antidumping rules.
As the article explained:
“The EU may prefer to use the threat of sanctions to force the United States to repeal the legislation more quickly or to obtain concessions in other trade negotiations. Named for its sponsor Senator Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat, the three-year-old amendment allows the United States [to] give U.S. companies money collected in fines against foreign exporters judged to be selling products in the United States at artificially low prices. The WTO ruled the measure illegal in 2002, backing claims that it punishes exporters to the United States twice because first they are fined and then those fines are passed on to their competitors.”
Milosevic Defends Himself
As Reuters reported on August 31, 2004, “Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic launched his long-delayed defense on Tuesday, branding his war crimes trial a ‘distortion of history’ and blaming the West for fueling Yugoslavia’s collapse… Milosevic, a Belgrade law school graduate, tackled the Austro-Hungarian Empire, World War One, Nazi Germany’s occupation of countries in the Balkans, U.S. foreign policy and the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 in his opening statement.”
Associated Press pointed out in its article of August 31, 2004:
“Milosevic, 63, faces 66 counts of war crimes for allegedly instigating three wars during the violent breakup of the Yugoslav federation in the 1990’s when more than 200,000 people were killed. Prosecutors say he was responsible for ethnic cleansing in the former republics to create a ‘greater Serbia’ that united Serbs across Yugoslavia. Milosevic said tens of thousands of Serbs were killed or driven from their homes in Croatia before the Yugoslav army responded. ‘This is a classical example of an armed rebellion against a state,’ he said. ‘A state has the right to use all means necessary to control the rebellion.’ Later, Milosevic, said mujahadeen fighters flooded into Muslim-dominated Bosnia from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Morocco ‘to support the first Islamic state in Europe.’ The Afghans came with arms supplied by the U.S. intelligence agency, the CIA, Milosevic said. ‘”
AFP pointed out in its article of August 31, 2004:
“Milosevic, who is acting as his own lawyer, angrily attacked the UN court for the former Yugoslavia as ‘an illegal institution.’ … In his opening statement Milosevic focussed on the historical backdrop of the Bosnian and Croatian wars. He blamed Western powers in general and Germany in particular for recognising what he called ‘the illegal secession’ of the former Yugoslav republics. … ‘He says he fought a just war and that he defended himself from outside interference. These might be valid arguments but he is not on trial for the wars as such but for… violating the internationally enshrined humanitarian laws and laws for the rules and customs of war,’ legal expert Heikelina Verrijn Stuart said.”
Associated Press reported on September 2, 2004:
“Hurricane Frances churned its way toward the Bahamas on Thursday after forcing hundreds of people from their homes in the nearby British territory of Turks and Caicos as the Caribbean faced one of its strongest storms in years. The Category 4 [downgraded to Category 3] storm’s lashing winds of more than 145 mph tore tin roofs off houses and plucked trees from the ground as it hit the Turks and Caicos on Wednesday. No injuries were reported but hundreds fled their homes and many telephone lines were still down… More than a dozen houses were damaged, and one woman was rescued after her house’s roof blew off.”
The article continued:
“Forecasters warned U.S. residents from Florida to the Carolinas to monitor Frances — the third major hurricane of the Atlantic season, following Alex and Charley. Three-quarters of a million people in Florida were told to leave their homes by Thursday afternoon as Hurricane Frances inched toward the U.S. mainland. States of emergency were declared in Georgia and Florida. Forecasters said the still-strengthening Category 4 [downgraded to Category 3] storm could hit on Labor Day weekend as early as Friday night, less than three weeks after Charley raked Florida’s western coast with 145 mph wind, killing 27 people and causing billions of dollars in damage. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency, activating the National Guard.”
Please also note our prayer request regarding this situation in Florida.
Germany and Italy Booed at Republican Convention
Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani prompted the audience to boo at Germany and Italy, when he delivered his speech Monday at the Republican National Convention. In his support for President Bush’s war against worldwide terrorism, he compared Mr. Bush’s decisiveness with Germany’s and Italy’s indecisiveness about 25 – 30 years ago.
Giuliani said: “Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years. And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun. The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.”
At that moment, the audience booed. Giuliani continued:
“Action like this became the rule, not the exception. Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences. In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer. They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish. Some of those terrorists were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals.”
At that moment, the audience booed again. Guiliani continued:
“So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was ‘accommodation, appeasement and compromise.’ And worse the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack. Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table. How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace? Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction. President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism but we must also be on offense.”
Especially the response of the German press to Guiliani’s attacks on Germany, and the reaction of his audience, was mixed. Bild Online, a daily tabloid normally supportive of the Bush Administration, expressed irritation that Guiliani and the Republicans would resurrect an event that happened more than 30 years ago. On the other hand, Der Spiegel Online, normally extremely critical of the Bush Administration, had this to say, when commenting on the tragic events during the Olympics in 1972:
“Three of the captured terrorists were allegedly released by the Germans within a few months, according to Giuliani. And he was right. His statements were even much more tame, than reality had been. The German conduct belongs to Germany’s darkest hours of its post war history. On October 29, 1972, only a few weeks after the terrorist attack, a Lufthansa airplane was kidnapped on its flight from Beirut to Frankfurt. The kidnapper demanded the release of the three captured terrorists. Very quickly, without any consultation with Israel, the German government complied with the demand.”