Current Events


Middle East – No Peace in Sight?
Commenting on Israel’s withdrawal from Yasser Arafat’s compound in Ramallah, the LA Times ran an article on May 2, 2002, titled, “Arafat’s Woes Just Beginning.” The article stated, “Inside his ruined compound, Arafat looked heroic to his people merely by enduring Israel’s siege. Once outside, he must address growing — and often conflicting — demands from Palestinians and the international community to change his ways… Palestinians are looking for Arafat to prove to them that their sacrifices were not in vain. Some Palestinians are clamoring for reforms. Others are clamoring for revenge.”

The article continued, “In meetings with U.S. and European representatives, Palestinians have estimated that they will need $350 million to repair roads, homes, business and ministries… [Jean] Breteche [the European Commission’s representative to the Palestinian authority] said that the European Commission is seeking assurances from Israel that it will not again destroy infrastructure that international donors pay to repair, and that it will allow Palestinian institutions to function.”

The article also reported, “A renewed Palestinian suicide bombing campaign in Israeli towns would trigger another military operation in the West Bank and possibly the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army and government have warned. Many Israeli analysts say a resurgence of Palestinian attacks — REGARDLESS OF WHO CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY — also will result in Arafat’s immediate expulsion.”

With these political uncertainties and so many monetary interests involved, it should be easy to see that there will be no peace in the Middle East, unless an outside power begins to play a mighty role in that area.

The United States and Europe…
Is a Trade War Coming?
In another article of the Los Angeles Times, dated May 2, it was pointed out that the Bush administration and European leaders were meeting in Washington IN HOPE OF LESSENING TENSIONS ON A NUMBER OF RISING TRADE ISSUES. Included were some “nasty fights on trade, such as steel and a U.S. export tax break.” After the meeting, however, “officials reported NO BREAKTHROUGHS.”

As it stands right now, the European Union has threatened to bring a case against the U.S. before the World Trade Organization (WTO). The L.A.Times commented, “Many trade experts fear that the WORLD’S TWO BIGGEST TRADING POWERS are on the brink of a tit-for-tat trade war that could SERIOUSLY HARM THE WORLD TRADING SYSTEM AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY’S FRAGILE REBOUND.”

In addition, the United States is facing high sanctions at the hands of the Europeans over a U.S. tax break for American companies who export. This tax break has been ruled ILLEGAL by the WTO which in June will announce the size of the penalties the EU can impose if the US and the EU do not reach a settlement over the issue, so the LA Times.

Europe – Outspoken Words from Austria’s Joerg Haider
While Europe is still in shock over the unexpected recent success of French right extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen, Austria’s Joerg Haider, made significant moves. He said that he would be willing to become Austria’s next chancellor and also proceeded to give a highly outspoken interview to Austria’s political magazine, Profil, (18th edition). HAIDER HAS ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD HOW TO MASTERFULLY EXPRESS THE OPINIONS OF MANY EUROPEANS. Here are some excerpts from his interview:

When asked whether he is willing to run for an international European party, he answered, “I could imagine such a movement, but it is also highly necessary. A counter-program against the bureaucratic nonsense in Brussels could accomplish much.”

When asked who his partners in such a movement might be, he responded, “I believe that we would have great potential in Denmark, Holland, the southern part of Germany, and Italy.”

In regard to Le Pen, he stated, “Le Pen and Haider are very different — I’d like to emphasize that. Le Pen follows goals that are unacceptable. He has in his program racist positions, which have no place in the modern world. But I do not want to make rush condemnations, as I do not know him yet.” He added regarding Jacques Chirac, “Unfortunately, he is now being given a historical chance to be elected [on May 5] with the help of the left, although he really should be brought to trial.”

Regarding Ariel Sharon and Israel in general, Haider stated, “Of course, [Sharon] is a war criminal… He is personally responsible… Israel has the support of the U.S. Apparently, they do not need to abide by any rules. The new Bush doctrine that states that only the U.S. can determine who is good and who is bad, is dangerous and must be rejected.” He added that Sharon must be brought before a war-crime tribunal in Den Haag.

Regarding Bin Laden, he said, “Osama Bin Laden is not only a product of the Arabic world, but he has helped the Americans quite well against the Russians in Afghanistan.” When asked why he has such a love for the Islamic World, he replied, “This has developed quite coincidentally through my contacts with Qadafi’s family and also through the Islamic world’s positive reactions towards [Austria] regarding the world’s sanctions against Austria.”

When asked whether he is going to convert from Catholicism to Islam, as Qadafi’s son Saif had indicated, Haider answered, “He would perhaps like to see that.”

Drought Begins
Many newspapers and local news programs now provide a running dialogue concerning the current unusual and sustained dry spell in the Rocky Mountain West. Encompassing areas from Mexico to the Canadian border, this critical region acts as a kind of water reservoir for all of the Southwestern United States as well as many of the plains states through its collection of winter snow fall.

This year has witnessed dramatic shortages with the portent of water rationing looming as a very real possibility. Warnings in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 indicate that God will withhold His blessings to our nations if we don’t turn to Him.

Leviticus 26:17-20 warns of imminent consequences to national disobedience: “I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.”

We find described in Amos 4:8 a time coming when “…two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water.” The Bible reveals that our nations face a period of national punishment from God. As that time draws close and is NOW even BEGINNING, we must make certain that we draw close to God and fulfill our part as watchmen willing to proclaim this fearsome warning before the world!

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