Monumental, unfathomable, unbelievable, unimaginable, evil, utter devastation–just some of the words being used in news reports to describe the raging wildfires that have swept throughout parts of Southern California.
On October 23, 2007, USAToday.com published the following: “…the largest wildfire evacuation in U.S. history, and the biggest forced movement of people ever in California. Hurricanes such as devastating Katrina in 2005 have prompted larger flights from coastal areas, but wildfires usually scorch remote areas far from major cities.”
The numbers of displaced people are staggering–as are the statistics used to describe this disaster. CNN.com (10/24/07) describes the magnitude:
“Earlier Wednesday, officials told residents of De Luz, near Camp Pendleton, and of the Fallbrook area near Riverside County, to join an estimated 950,000 people already seeking refuge from the fires in shelters, hotels and at friends’ homes…
“More than 20 fires have scorched 400,000-plus acres from the Mexican border to northern Los Angeles County and inland into the San Bernardino Mountains since the weekend.
“The blazes have killed one person [according to later reports, at least three persons have been killed] and injured at least 70 more. Thirty-four firefighters have been hurt, authorities said.”
Various reports estimate that around 350,000 homes have been evacuated, while the number of completely destroyed homes is estimated to be approaching 2,000. The financial losses that will accompany this disaster are expected to easily soar over the billion dollar mark.
Even those not directly affected by evacuation orders are suffering from the broader effects of these fires.
Air quality for much of Southern California has been degraded by the acrid smoke that is overlaying the area.
As well, the financial implications that will grow out of this disruptive catastrophe will only become fully apparent in the days and weeks ahead.
One bright spot has been the cooperative mood and the neighborly spirit of the hundreds of thousands of people who have all suffered together in this tragedy. This event is being compared to 9/11 and to Katrina. However, Americans face even greater national trials in the near future! More frightening anguish lies in store for our people if we don’t begin to individually and collectively turn to God! Please read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America“–available at www.eternalgod.org.
Turkey Moves to War Footing
Turkey is one of the largest U.S. allies and a powerful member of Nato, but this nation is rallying to calls for retribution against Kurdish soldiers in north Iraq. Time.com reported on October 22, 2007: “Dozens of Turkish military trucks rumbled towards the Iraqi border as Turks across the country took to the streets to demand retaliation for an attack by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) separatists based in north Iraq that killed 12 Turkish soldiers. It was the third large-scale attack in recent weeks. Eight Turkish soldiers are still missing after the incident. Sunday’s attack may well prove the last straw for Turkey’s hawkish military — NATO’s second largest army after the U.S. — which has been readying to cross the border into north Iraq in pursuit of the PKK for several months. Public outrage over a mounting death toll finally led Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to approve an incursion last week. Meanwhile, U.S. and Iraqi diplomats are trying frantically to come up with a non-military solution.”
The NYTimes.com (10/24/07) wrote about this additional development: “In unusual criticism, United States officials on Tuesday upbraided Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq for failing to curb the Kurdish guerrillas who operate unchecked in the autonomous region and use it as a safe haven for ambushes inside Turkey…
“Military operations continued near the Turkish border with Iraq. One Turkish newspaper reported that Turkish helicopters fired at targets near the border, while ground troops shelled several villages in northern Iraq.”
CNN.com (10/24/07) adds: “Turkish artillery units have shelled Kurdish separatist positions within northern Iraq, a Turkish government official said on Wednesday, amid continuing diplomatic efforts to avert a major cross-border incursion by Turkish military forces.”
As the United States faces an ever-widening conflict in the region, the threat of a Turkish invasion into northern Iraq looms as another potential to further weaken and erode U.S. influence.
Iran’s Nuclear Resolve
Following bellicose statements by both Vice President Dick Cheney and President George Bush concerning Iran’s nuclear ambition, an article in Reuters.com (10/23/07) reveals new diplomatic moves from Iran:
“Iran sees its nuclear talks with the EU as a way to improve diplomatic relations with Europe, the newly appointed Iranian chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said on Tuesday.”
This overture to the EU also serves to sidestep the strong statements recently made by France’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner urging sanctions against Iran.
The EUObserver wrote on October 19:
“The European Union has overnight agreed the precise text of its new ‘Lisbon Treaty’ to be formally signed off on 13 December in the Portuguese capital.
“At around 02:00 local time on Friday morning – following shorter-than-usual discussions – Portuguese prime minister Jose Socrates announced that a deal has been struck, describing it as ‘victory for Europe’.
“‘With this agreement we have managed to get out of stalemate…we will be ready to tackle the world’s challenges’, Mr Socrates said.
“European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso also branded the accord as ‘historic’, providing the EU with the ‘capacity to act’.
“The decision effectively ends a six-year long period of trying to internally reform… The new treaty will be formally signed by all European leaders in Lisbon on 13 December and subsequently go for ratification next year, with a view to coming into place by mid-2009, ahead of the next European elections.
“Among other things, the new treaty introduces an EU president, a post that can be held for up to five years, strengthens the post of its foreign policy chief and takes away national vetoes in areas such as terrorism. It also gives more power to the European Parliament.”
Anti-American EU Unification
On October 25, 2007, The American Thinker wrote the following:
“European Union leaders have reached agreement on a new treaty that many Europeans hope will transform the 27-nation bloc into a superpower capable of counter-balancing the United States in global affairs.
“The 250-plus page Reform Treaty, which EU leaders will formally sign in Lisbon on December 13, calls for a permanent EU president, a European foreign minister and a European Union diplomatic service. The agreement also calls for EU nations to surrender sovereignty in many areas to centralized decision-making; and it reduces national veto rights to allow more decisions to be made by majority voting instead of by unanimous consent…
“Only Ireland says it will submit the treaty to a popular vote. The other EU countries hope quietly to seek ratification in their parliaments, a far less risky way than direct democracy of getting the document approved. If the treaty is ratified by all 27 governments, it will take effect in January 2009…
“European elites are pushing the EU in a direction that should be deeply disconcerting to Americans concerned about international security and stability. The Reform Treaty will make Europe more centralized and far less democratic than it already is. In practice, this means that many foreign policy decisions that directly affect the United States, ranging from economics and trade to transatlantic cooperation on Islamic counter-terrorism, increasingly will be made by unelected anti-American bureaucrats in Brussels rather than by national governments.
“Europeans claim they are American allies, but increasingly their conduct says they are rivals. Americans should take another look and see if further European integration is really in the US interest. At the very least, Washington should send an unambiguous message to free-riding Europeans: future attempts at anti-American coalition building will be very costly. International security depends on it.”
Halloween–A Festival for the Devil
On the website of www.exsposingsatanism.org, the following is stated:
“… Halloween, All saints day, All hallows eve or All souls day is a festival. It was held to honor the Samhain the so called ‘lord of death’. It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, [the] lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals.
“It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfill their requests.
“Sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends.
“There was a prevailing belief among all nations that… the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living…But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised.
“To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.”
The article continued:
“The day [of All Saints’ Day] was officially authorized in 835 by Pope Gregory IV after it was moved to November 1 to coincide with Samhain. It began on the evening of October 31, which was called All Hallows Eve… Souls in purgatory appeared as witches and toads to persons who had wronged them. Halloween fires took on a new meaning and now were used to comfort souls in purgatory as people prayed while holding burning straw in the air.
“Even the idea of trick-or-treating by evil spirits took on an acceptable church flavor: costumed children went around on All Souls Day offering to fast for the departed souls in return for money or an offering…
“A pagan practice that was not eradicated upon the coming of Christianity was witchcraft. The word ‘witch’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon Wicca, or ‘wise one.’ Witches were thought to be possessors of magic… Black cats are the chief idol of the goddess of Wicca, Diana. In legend, she turns into a black cat to commit incest with her brother, Lucifer. Eventually the Druids themselves came to be regarded as witches. Witch hunting during Halloween became almost a national pastime in the colonial years of our nation. But that was yesterday. Halloween is regarded as the high ‘Sabbath’ for practicing witches today.
“Orange, black, and red, the devil’s colors, are the colors associated with Halloween. Black prefigures black magic and demonic influence. The black of night is when these forces of evil are busiest, using the cover of darkness for their sinister works.”
The article concluded:
“As you can see from all the above the real meaning of Halloween has been watered down. It is Satan’s objective to get all to worship him. God tells us to not have anything to do with this… If you are a professing Christian, you have no reason to be part of this holy day of Satan. Don’t use the old cop out ‘well everybody does it’. No, everybody is not doing it. God will hold you responsible for what you do this Halloween. Will you go ahead and participate in it? Or will you pass along the word and let someone know what the real meaning is?”