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Author Topic: News items that look towards Ezekiel 38 & 39  (Read 51051 times)
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2007, 05:24:07 PM »

Putin uses ballot rules to force foes from Russian Parliament
By Clifford J. Levy
Published: October 14, 2007

MOSCOW: Balloting for Parliament will be held across Russia in December, and this much is already clear: Vladimir Ryzhkov, who was first elected in the turbulent yet hopeful days after the Soviet Union's fall and then blossomed into a fervent advocate for democracy, will lose.

So will Viktor Pokhmelkin, who used his seat to crusade against corruption in the police and other law enforcement agencies. Swept away, too, will be Anatoly Yermolin, a KGB officer turned liberal stalwart who has been a lone voice in rebellion against President Vladimir Putin's expansive power.

Nearly eight years after Putin took office and began tightening his control over all aspects of the Russian government, he will almost certainly with this election succeed in extinguishing the last embers of opposition in Parliament.

Strict new election rules adopted under Putin, combined with the Kremlin's dominance over the news media and government agencies, are expected to propel the party that he created, United Russia, to a parliamentary majority even more overwhelming than its current one.

The system is so arrayed against all other parties that even some Putin allies have acknowledged that it harks back to the politics of the old days. Sergei Mironov, a staunch Putin supporter and the chairman of the upper house of Parliament, suggested recently that United Russia seemed to have been modeled on a certain forerunner.

"I think that the television broadcasts from the United Russia convention reminded a lot of people of long-forgotten pictures from the era of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union," said Mironov, leader of another pro-Putin party, Just Russia.

Putin's second presidential term expires next year, and under the Russian Constitution, he cannot run for a third consecutive term. At the lavishly choreographed convention of United Russia this month, he indicated that he would transfer his power base to the party and the Parliament and could become prime minister next year. The announcement raised the stakes for the December elections.

The president currently wields far more power than the prime minister, but that could change should Putin become prime minister.

Some analysts are speculating that Putin may try to create a parliamentary system with a strong prime minister and the presidency as a largely ceremonial post, akin to the arrangement in countries like Italy or Israel.

Putin has high approval ratings, and whatever the political climate, Russians today have far more economic and social freedoms than existed under Communism. Many people would like Putin to remain president, giving him credit for the strong economy and stability of recent years. Still, it appears that he is leaving little to chance in the parliamentary races.

"This is the first time in post-Soviet history when only the Kremlin decides who can participate and who can't," Ryzhkov said. "The Kremlin decides which party can exist and which party cannot.

"For the first time in post-Soviet history, a wide specter of political forces cannot participate in this election. I call it selection before election."

Ryzhkov's party, the Republican Party, one of the oldest in post-Soviet Russia, was disbanded by the government this year after it was accused of not having enough support under the new rules. Ryzhkov said his party easily met the standard but officials ignored the evidence in a sham proceeding.

First chosen in 1993, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Parliament in its early years was a raucous center of power that often challenged the president at the time, Boris Yeltsin. In Putin's first term, it sometimes retained that role, but Putin has steadily reined it in, and these days it is considered little more than a sidekick of the Kremlin.

Putin has said that the tougher election rules are in part intended to eliminate the fractious politics that he asserts are caused by a proliferation of small parties. In recent months, he has contended that he is a champion of multiparty democracy, though he has also said that the system needs time to develop.

"We cannot build Russia's future by tying its many millions of citizens to just one person or group of people," he said last month. "We will not be able to build anything lasting unless we put in place a real and effectively functioning multiparty system and develop a civil society that will protect society and the state from mistakes and wrong actions on the part of those in power."

In the parliamentary elections on Dec. 2, Russians will vote only for parties, not for candidates. What is more, parties now need 7 percent of the national vote to gain seats in Parliament, up from 5 percent. They also need to submit proof that they have at least 50,000 members to be recognized as official parties, up from 10,000.

It now seems possible that United Russia's advantages are so great that it will be the only party to surpass 7 percent. In that case, since the Constitution requires at least one other party in Parliament, some token seats would be allocated to the second most popular one.

Andrew Kuchins, director of the Russia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the liberal opposition was vulnerable because its leaders had quarreled and failed to present a united front. He said Putin seemed to want to establish United Russia as a force that would long dominate Russia, akin to the governing parties in Japan or Mexico in the 20th century.

"Putin has methodically over the last seven years been reducing the power of any other locus in the system that is independent," Kuchins said. "This is the final nail in the coffin. And it doesn't look like that coffin is going to get opened anytime soon."

Putin's allies said United Russia was winning elections not because the rules were biased, but because the public approved of Putin and valued the nation's new strength. They said Russians looked askance at the example of Ukraine, the neighbor to the west, where three leading parties have been closely matched and have regularly feuded over the last three years.

"For Russians, the Ukrainian scenario is terrifying," said Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for United Russia in Parliament.

Pokhmelkin, the member from Perm who is almost certain to lose his seat, said he had been increasingly marginalized in recent years, and sometimes even barred by United Russia from making speeches in Parliament. He said that he tried to prod the Kremlin on issues like police corruption and the rights of motorists, but that it was largely futile.

"The Parliament has been brought down to the level of a servant, serving the ruling bureaucracy," he said. "And there cannot be any other assessment."
Putin to discuss arms in Iran

President Vladimir Putin will show his preference for dialogue with Iran when he visits Tehran on Tuesday, amid calls from the West for stronger pressure on Iran to curb suspected plans for a nuclear bomb, Reuters reported from Moscow.

Putin, the first Kremlin chief to visit Iran since the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin went in 1943, will formally be in Tehran for a summit of Caspian Sea states.

But a meeting with Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, could give the Kremlin leader a chance to seek a peaceful compromise over Tehran's nuclear program and to demonstrate his independence from Washington on Middle East issues.

"Putin is going to Iran to show the importance of continuing diplomacy," Kremlin deputy spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Putin will tell Ahmadinejad that Russia accepts Iran's right to use nuclear energy but wants it to open up its nuclear program to international inspectors to prove it is peaceful, Peskov added.

Putin uses ballot rules to force foes from Russian Parliament
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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2007, 05:34:59 PM »

Turkish general warns US ties on ice

By C. ONUR ANT, Associated Press Writer 1 minute ago

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Turkey's top general warned that ties with the U.S., already strained by attacks from rebels hiding in Iraq, will be irreversibly damaged if Congress passes a resolution that labels the World War I-era killings of Armenians a genocide.

Turkey, which is a major cargo hub for U.S. and allied military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations and warned that there might be a cut in the logistical support to the U.S. over the issue.

"If this resolution passed in the committee passes the House as well, our military ties with the U.S. will never be the same again," Gen. Yasar Buyukanit told the daily Milliyet newspaper.

Despite the general's strong words, it is not clear how far Turkey will go to express its dismay to Washington.

Turkey suspended its military ties with France last year after the French parliament's lower house adopted a bill that that would have made it a crime to deny that the Armenian killings constituted a genocide.

But there is more at stake for NATO's only Muslim member when it comes to its relations with the U.S. The Turkish military, and especially the air force, is heavily dependent on the American defense industry, experts say.

Still, when Washington imposed an arms embargo against Turkey in 1975 due to a dispute over Cyprus, Turkey ended all its logistical support to U.S. troops and sharing of intelligence until the embargo was lifted, said Onur Oymen, the country's former permanent representative to NATO.

President Bush has said the resolution is the wrong response to the Armenian deaths, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the measure's timing was important "because many of the survivors are very old."

In an interview broadcast Sunday with ABC's "This Week," Pelosi noted that the resolution would make the U.S. the 24th country to label the killings a genocide.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the measure was "irresponsible."

"Listen, there's no question that the suffering of the Armenian people some 90 years ago was extreme. But what happened 90 years ago ought to be a subject for historians to sort out, not politicians here in Washington," he told "Fox News Sunday."

About 70 percent of U.S. air cargo headed for Iraq goes through Turkey as does about one-third of the fuel used by the U.S. military there. Turkish truckers also carry water and other supplied to U.S. bases.

In addition, cargo planes fly supplies to U.S. soldiers in remote areas of Iraq from Incirlik, avoiding the use of Iraqi roads vulnerable to bomb attacks. U.S. officials say the arrangement helps reduce American casualties.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has "urged restraint" from Turkey and sent two officials to Ankara in an apparent attempt to ease fury over the measure, which could be voted on by the House by the end of the year.

At issue in the resolution is the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Many international historians contend the deaths amounted to genocide, but Turkey says the mass killings and deportations were not systematic and that many non-Kurds also died in the chaos of war.

The congressional resolution comes as the Turkish parliament debates authorizing a military campaign into northern Iraq to root out rebels who seek a unified, independent nation for Kurds in the region.

U.S. officials have urged Turkey not to send troops and appealed for a diplomatic solution with Iraq. The Kurdish region in northern Iraq is one of the country's few relatively stable areas, and the Kurds here are also a longtime U.S. ally.

A Kurdish rebel commander on Saturday said Turkey would face a long and bloody conflict if it launched a large-scale offensive in northern Iraq.

Speaking to The Associated Press deep in the Qandil mountains straddling the Iraq-Turkish border, some 94 miles from the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, Murat Karayilan, head of the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, warned that an eventual Turkish incursion would "make Turkey experience a Vietnam war."

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey since 1984. The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives. Turkey says the rebels use Iraqi Kurdish territory as a safe haven. Iraqi and Kurdish authorities reject the claim.

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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2007, 01:54:40 AM »

Iran wins security pledge at Putin summit
October 16, 2007

Philippe Naughton, and agencies in Tehran

President Putin used an historic visit to Iran today to make the case against Western military action and help deliver a regional security guarantee for the Islamic republic.

Mr Putin ignored warnings of a possible suicide attack against him to become the first Kremlin chief to visit Tehran since Josef Stalin met other Allied leaders there at the height of the Second World War in 1943.

After initial talks with his host, President Ahmadinejad, Mr Putin joined the leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan for a summit of Caspian Sea states - and quickly issued a barely-coded warning to the Azeris against military cooperation with the West.

Russian media have speculated that Washington might be trying to negotiate with Azerbaijan on the right to use military facilities in the Caucasus republic for a campaign against Iran, although Azeri officials have denied any such plans.

Today's summit did not reach agreement on their main objective - how to divide up the Caspian and its huge oil and gas reserves. But the five Caspian presidents did agree not to let a third country use their soil for an attack on any of the other coastal states.

The summit communique, handed to journalists in Tehran by Russian delegates before a televised signing ceremony, also stressed that "under no circumstances will they allow (the use of their) territories by third countries to launch aggression or other military action against any of the member states".

In another excerpt that will please Iran - already celebrating the propaganda value of Mr Putin's visit - the summit leaders said they acknowledged the rights of all signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop peaceful atomic energy.

"The sides consider the Non-Proliferation Treaty ... one of the basic pillars of international security and stability," said the declaration, signed by the presidents of the five Caspian Sea states - Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

They "also acknowledge the rights of all states which are parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop the research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes ... under the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) mechanism."

Mr Ahmadinejad described the declaration at a news conference as "very strong."

The Iranian President had welcomed Mr Putin and the other leaders with a call for closer co-operation on security issues and deeper economic ties.

"This cooperation - which is intended to prevent military competition in the sea and also warding off hostile forces and at the same time fighting organised crime - will require the establishment of a regional body in the near future," he said.

Mr Putin pushed ahead with the visit despite a warning from his own security service that he could be the target of a suicide bomb plot. Because of that threat - denied by Iran - security was tight, and Mr Putin arrived at Tehran airport at 0630BST today rather than last night, as was originally planned.

As well as meeting Mr Ahmadinejad, Mr Putin was expected to see Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader who has ultimate authority and the final say in all state matters such as nuclear policy.

His meetings with Iranian leaders could give Mr Putin a chance to seek a compromise on the nuclear issue that is souring international relations.

Iran is embroiled in a diplomatic standoff with Western nations over its nuclear programme, which it insists is needed to generate power but which its critics say is being used to develop atomic weapons. Washington has refused to rule out the use of military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the row.

Russia says that it sees no evidence that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and is resisting efforts at the UN Security Council to step up sanctions over Iran's refusal to fall into line with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Security Council has imposed two rounds of limited sanctions on Iran, which were backed by Russia and five other world powers - the United States, France, Germany, Britain and China. Washington and Paris are trying to overcome Russian and Chinese resistance for a round of harsher, broader sanctions.

Mr Putin was also likely to discuss a dispute over Russian delays in building the Bushehr atomic power plant, Iran’s first. Russia says Iran is behind in its payments for the plant, which Tehran denies.

Iran wins security pledge at Putin summit
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2007, 02:02:21 AM »

Caspian states show united front on Putin's Iran visit
Oct 16, 2007

By Oleg Shchedrov and Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin made clear to Washington on Tuesday that Russia would not accept military action against Iran and he invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Moscow for talks.

Putin made the invitation to Ahmadinejad, shunned by the West which fears his nuclear program is a cover for building atomic weapons, after meeting him and leaders of other Caspian Sea states who ruled out any strikes on Iran from their region.

Dates for Ahmadinejad's visit would be arranged through diplomatic channels, RIA news agency quoted a statement by the two leaders as saying.

Earlier, in comments aimed at the United States, Putin said during his talks in Iran: "We should not even think of using force in this region."

"We need to agree that using the territory of one Caspian Sea (state) in the event of aggression against another is impossible," he told the presidents of Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan at a summit of Caspian Sea states.

Western nations accuse Tehran of seeking atomic weapons, a charge Tehran denies. Washington has refused to rule out the use of force if diplomacy fails to resolve the row.

Asked about Russia's invitation to Ahmadinejad, a U.S. State Department official said: "It's up to the Russians to determine how they want to manage their bilateral relations with Iran."

Putin's remarks about territory also appeared aimed at ex-Soviet Azerbaijan, where the U.S. military has inspected airfields. Russian media have suggested Washington might be trying to negotiate the right to use its military facilities. Baku denies this.

Russia is annoyed at what it sees as the West's attempts to end its influence in former Soviet states.

In a final declaration, the Caspian nations backed Putin's call, saying "under no circumstances will they allow (the use of their) territories by third countries to launch aggression or other military action against any of the member states".

The countries also backed the rights of signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty -- which includes Iran -- to develop peaceful nuclear energy.

Ahmadinejad, who says Tehran will not stop atomic work that he insists is peaceful, praised the Caspian declaration.

Putin's trip to Iran, the first made by a Kremlin leader since 1943, has been watched because of Russia's potential leverage, on behalf of fellow world powers, to rein in Iran using its trade and nuclear supply ties with Tehran.

PROGRESS ON BUSHEHR PLANT

Russia is building Iran's first atomic power plant in the port city of Bushehr. Russia says Iran is behind in payments for the plant, causing construction delays, but Iran says it is up to date and that Moscow is bowing to Western pressure.

Putin told Iranian media he could not provide guarantees for when fuel for the plant, also delayed, would be delivered. He said this would depend on discussions about the contract. The two sides agreed, Russian news agencies said, that Russia would complete work according to the "agreed timetable".

The timetable has regularly slipped and Putin's comments are likely to disappoint Iranian officials, who before his arrival, said they expected "good news" about Bushehr.

Putin turned up in Iran after shrugging off a Russian report about a plot to kill him during the trip. Russian officials had suggested he might change his plans. Iran dismissed the report.

Putin had bilateral talks with Ahmadinejad and also met Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate authority in Iran.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed two rounds of limited sanctions on Iran, which were backed by Russia and five other world powers -- the United States, France, Germany, Britain and China. Washington and Paris are pushing for tougher steps.

Moscow says it sees no evidence of a military program and is resisting Western calls for new sanctions. Russia has also been alarmed by talk in the West that the row could result in conflict. France has warned of a possible war.

But, in Washington, State Department spokesman Tom Casey was confident of Moscow's support as the U.S. and others push for more punitive action.

"We fully expect that we will have support from the Russian Government for our longstanding policy that has been crafted, not by the U.S. but by the members of the Security Council, starting with the P-5+1," he said, referring to the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

Caspian states show united front on Putin's Iran visit
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2007, 02:08:07 AM »

The visit to Iran by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the first in over sixty years by a Russian leader, drew attention to the alliance that Russian and Iran have formed along with the former Soviet satellite nations that border the Caspian Sea. Vladimir Putin made this historic visit even as there was a threat of an assassination on the Russian leader and at the same time as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was saying that that the International Community must join forces to stop the radical theocracy that heads up the nation of Iran as they develop a Nuclear Weapon of Mass Destruction.

This report is evidence that the prophetic scenario, written 2,500 years ago by an ancient Jewish prophet, is coming better into focus. Ezekiel, that ancient Jewish prophet, wrote that Russia and Iran would be major partners in the End Times which would lead up to the invasion of Israel by not only Russia and Iran, but by a coalition of nations which would include the other Caspian Sea member-states as well.

Ezekiel 38:2, 5 Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of [a]Magog, the prince of Rosh, of Meshech, and of Tubal, and prophesy against him,  5 Persia, Cush, and Put or Libya with them, all of them with shield and helmet,

This landmark visit to Iran by Russian President Vladimir Putin does indeed set the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2007, 09:02:40 AM »

U.S., Israel to study layered missile defenses

By Kristin Roberts and Dan Williams Tue Oct 16, 8:34 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Israel agreed to work on a layered missile defense system to intercept ballistic missiles from Iran and Syria and smaller arms like those lobbed from Gaza and Lebanon, officials said on Tuesday.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a meeting at the Pentagon, agreed to set up a joint committee to study how Washington might help the Jewish state produce the system, according to Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.

An Israeli security source also said Barak and Gates talked about upgrading one of Israel's missile defense systems, Arrow II, designed to intercept missiles like those deployed by Iran and Syria.

"This proposal now has to go to the relevant work teams," that source said.

U.S. officials, however, have expressed skepticism about the ability of the Israeli systems to defeat shorter range missiles.

The Pentagon already is a partner on the Arrow II program. Israeli and U.S. engineers also are working on a parallel project, David's Sling, to defend against medium-range rockets like those fired by Hezbollah guerrillas during the 2006 Lebanon war.

Israel has been developing a third system called Iron Dome, which is meant to shoot down short-range Palestinian rockets.

Barak's visit to Washington is his first as defense minister. He and Gates, who worked together previously when both served in top intelligence positions, met on Tuesday first with their staff present and then privately for 35 minutes.

Israel's recent air strike on Syria was not discussed during the session that included staff, one official said.

Israel has failed to stem cross-border rocket attacks from Gaza, which it left in 2005 after 38 years of occupation. It fears a similar threat from the West Bank if troops depart.

Barak, a former prime minister who has made no secret of his hopes to retake the top office, recently said Israel should condition any handover of the West Bank to the Palestinians on a reliable anti-missile system first being in place.

But with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert set to attend a U.S.-sponsored peace summit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as early as next month, Barak was less categorical during his Washington talks.

"The defense minister laid out Israel's security concerns regarding the missile threat," said Barak spokesman Ronen Moshe. "He did not come to set terms for a future territorial compromise."

U.S., Israel to study layered missile defenses
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« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2007, 09:07:30 AM »

Quote
The United States and Israel agreed to work on a layered missile defense system to intercept ballistic missiles from Iran and Syria and smaller arms like those lobbed from Gaza and Lebanon, officials said on Tuesday.

God will be the one stopping the attack on Israel, not man.

Ezekiel 39:11-16 And in that day, I will give to Gog a place for burial there in Israel, the valley of those who pass through on the east side in front of the [Dead] Sea [the highway between Syria, Petra, and Egypt], and it will delay and stop those who pass through. And there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude, and they shall call it the Valley of Hamon-gog [multitude of Gog]. 12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yes, all the people of the land will bury them, and it shall bring them renown in the day that I shall be glorified, says the Lord God. 14 And they shall set apart men to work continually who shall pass through the land, men commissioned to bury, with the help of those who are passing by, those bodies that lie unburied on the face of the ground, in order to cleanse the land. After the end of seven months they shall make their search. 15 And when these pass through the land and anyone sees a human bone, he shall set up a marker by it as a sign to the buriers, until they have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog or of Gog's multitude. 16 And Hamonah [multitude] shall also be the name of the city [of the dead]. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
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« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2007, 09:19:32 AM »

Turkish Parliament to OK Iraq Mission

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
By SUZAN FRASER, Associated Press Writer
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ANKARA, Turkey —
Syria's president said Wednesday that Turkey had a right to stage a cross-border incursion into northern Iraq to chase separatist Kurdish rebels as the Turkish parliament began debating the issue.

Turkish leaders have stressed that an offensive against the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, would not immediately follow the motion authorizing the incursion.

Hours before the vote, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called his Turkish counterpart asking that diplomacy be given a chance before Turkey sends troops across the border to pursue separatist Kurds in mountain hide-outs, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

Al-Maliki said Iraq was "determined" to end PKK activities on its territory and had given "strict instructions" to the regional Iraqi Kurdish administration in Iraq's north on the issue, Anatolia said.

Al-Maliki asked that Iraq be given more time and said it he was sending a delegation to Turkey to discuss cooperation, Anatolia said.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by saying Turkey could "not tolerate losing any more time," the agency reported.

Erdogan's aides were not immediately available to confirm the conversation.

Visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad said Turkey had a legitimate right to stage a cross-border offensive.

"We understand that such an operation would be aimed toward a certain group which attacks Turkish soldiers. We support decisions that Turkey has on its agenda, we are backing them," Assad told reporters. "We accept this as Turkey's legitimate right. As Syria, we are supporting all decisions by Turkey and we are standing behind them."

Iraq on Tuesday also dispatched one of its two vice presidents to Ankara who also called for diplomacy.

"Iraq must be given the chance to stop PKK rebels who cross the border before Turkey takes any step," Anatolia quoted Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi as saying before he left Ankara.

"I got what I wanted from our talks. There is a new atmosphere to stop the current crisis," he was also quoted as saying. Al-Hashimi met Tuesday with Erdogan and other Turkish officials.

On Wednesday, an alliance spokesman said NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has spoken to Turkey's president, adding his voice to international calls for restraint in the crisis with Iraq.

Turkey invited ambassadors from countries bordering Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations to the Foreign Ministry for a briefing on why it was passing the motion in parliament.

The motion, authorizing an attack into Iraq sometime in the next year, has the backing of all but one party in parliament. Only a small Kurdish party has said it would vote against it.

"The passage of the motion in parliament does not mean that an operation will be carried out at once," Erdogan said Tuesday. "Turkey will act with common sense and determination when necessary and when the time is ripe."

Public anger over attacks by Kurdish guerrillas is high but Turkish officials are mindful that two dozen Iraqi campaigns since the 1980s have failed to eradicate the PKK. A cross-border attack into northern Iraq could also strain ties with the United States, a NATO ally that opposes any disruption of its efforts to stabilize Iraq.

Kurdish rebels from the PKK have been fighting since 1984 for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast, a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Turkey has complained about what it considers a lack of U.S. support in the fight against the PKK, a frustration with Washington intensified because of another sensitive issue: the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

A panel in the U.S. House approved a resolution last week labeling the killings genocide, an affront to Turks who deny there was any systematic campaign to eliminate Armenians. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will schedule a vote soon on the resolution, which President Bush opposes.

Turkish Parliament to OK Iraq Mission
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« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2007, 03:02:16 AM »

Turkey Lawmakers OK Possible Iraq Attack
Oct 17, 11:09 PM (ET)

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - Parliament authorized the government Wednesday to send troops into northern Iraq to root out Kurdish rebels who've been conducting raids into Turkey. The vote removed the last legal obstacle to an offensive, but there was no sign of imminent action as the United States urged restraint.

Turkish leaders, under pressure from Washington and Baghdad, have signaled they would not immediately give the order to send in 60,000 soldiers, armor and attack helicopters into a region that has largely escaped the chaos of the Iraq war.

The crisis along the border, where the Turkish troops have massed since summer, has driven up oil prices along with tensions between Turkey and its longtime NATO ally, the United States.

President Bush said the U.S. was making clear to Turkey that it should not stage a major army operation in the Iraqi north, much of which has escaped the sustained violence and political discord common in the rest of Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Bush said Turkey has had troops stationed in northern Iraq "for quite a while," a reference to about 1,500 soldiers deployed for years to monitor the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, with the permission of Iraqi Kurd authorities.

"We don't think it's in their interest to send more troops in," he said.

While they now have the authority to strike at PKK bases used to stage attacks in Turkey, the country's leaders appear to be holding back in hopes the threat of an incursion will prod Iraq and the U.S. to move against the guerrillas.

The Turkish military, which had little success when it last carried out a major incursion into Iraq a decade ago with 50,000 soldiers, estimates 3,800 Turkish Kurd guerrillas operate from Iraq territory and 2,300 are inside Turkey.

As Parliament voted 507-19 to approve military operations against PKK fighters in northern Iraq over the next year, Turkey's government moved to explain its decision to its Arab neighbors, sending Foreign Minister Ali Babacan to both Egypt and Lebanon.

Oil prices surged briefly to a record $89 a barrel after the vote. Traders worry that any escalation in the conflict will cut oil supplies from northern Iraq.

Hours before the vote, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to say Iraq's government was determined to halt "terrorist activities" of the PKK on Iraqi territory, his office said.

A close aide to al-Maliki said later that the two leaders agreed the Iraqis should deal with PKK fighters based inside Iraq and the Turks would take care of guerrillas operating in Turkish territory.

But Erdogan warned that Iraq must rein in the guerrillas, the aide said. "If you don't solve the problem now, we will have no choice but to pursue the PKK inside Iraq," he quoted the Turkish leader as saying.

The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the confidential conversation, added that there would be no joint operations involving Iraqi and Turkish troops. He said Iraq would not agree to more Turkish soldiers entering its territory.

Erdogan had suggested that Turkey, Iraq and the U.S. conduct a joint campaign against the PKK. But U.S. and Iraqi troops are hard pressed elsewhere, and Iraqi Kurds are reluctant to fight their ethnic brethren from Turkey.

A Kurdish lawmaker in Iraq warned an incursion would threaten the relative stability of the autonomous Kurdish region in the north and called on Turkey to deal with the issue "in a peaceful way."

gotcha98 al-Mufti, speaker of the regional parliament, also said he believed Turkey had ulterior motives aimed at upsetting the success of the Kurdish region in Iraq because it fears separatist sentiment within its own borders.

PKK fighters operating from bases in the mountains of northern Iraq periodically cross the border to stage attacks in their war to win autonomy for Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast. More than 30,000 people have died in fighting that began in 1984.

The authorization for an offensive inside Iraq had the backing of all of Turkey's parliamentary parties except a small Kurdish party. A single lawmaker from the opposition Republican People's Party voted against it.

"I am concerned that Turkey could be dragged into an Iraqi quagmire," said the lawmaker, Esref Erdem.

Turkish leaders have said publicly that they would prefer a solution to the guerrilla problem that avoids a cross-border offensive, but Erdogan has warned that Turkey will take whatever steps it must to defeat the PKK.

"What's important is the parliament's decision, not what people say," Erdogan said.

Public anger is high in Turkey over a recent spate of guerrilla attacks in the southeast as well as a perception that the United States has failed to back Turkey in its fight with the PKK, even though Washington lists the movement as a terrorist group.

Sam Brannen, an international security fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the U.S. had "underestimated the value of Turkey as a strategic ally" and created problems for itself by angering Turks with its failure to curb PKK activity in northern Iraq.

He said others in the region, such as Iran, Syria and al-Qaida in Iraq, could take advantage of strained Turkish-American relations and a destabilized northern Iraq.

"It's not happening in a vacuum. There are other state and non-state actors who would see some advantage in drawing Turkey into the conflict," Brannen said. "It's really hard to see what U.S. leverage will be in this situation."

At a White House news conference, Bush urged the Democratic-controlled Congress not to worsen tensions by approving a resolution labeling as genocide the World War I-era killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Turks as the Ottoman Empire crumbled.

Noting the number of domestic bills pending before Congress, Bush said, "One thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire."

Turkey, which argues the deaths came during civil unrest and not from a planned campaign to eradicate Armenians, is furious over the measure and has threatened repercussions if it is adopted. Turkey is a key route for moving supplies to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The House vote to label the bloodshed nearly a century ago as genocide was in jeopardy after several Democrats withdrew their support and sounded alarms it could cripple U.S.-Turkish relations.

Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said failure of the measure might lead Turkey's leaders to forgo military action in northern Iraq as a conciliatory gesture to Washington.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell indicated U.S. military leaders felt Turkey was not committed to invading Iraq.

"It would have enormous implications, not just for us but for the Turks, and I don't think there is any rush to war on the part of the Turks," Morrell said.

But Cagaptay said another serious PKK attack would probably trump diplomatic gestures.

"If there's another massive PKK attack, killing a dozen civilians, you can expect they will go in within the next 24 hours," he said.

Turkey Lawmakers OK Possible Iraq Attack
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« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2007, 03:19:27 AM »

Israeli TV Stations Showing 'Gog and Magog' Charts

(IsraelNN.com) Israeli evening newscasts prominently featured George W. Bush's comments regarding a possible breakout of World War Three Wednesday evening.

Both Channel 2 and Channel 10 showed the world map and sketched the basic alignment of the two opposing axes in the possible world war, in a way that is bound to evoke associations of the Gog and Magog prophecy for many viewers. On one side were Israel, the United States, Britain, France and Germany. On the other were Iran, Russia, China, Syria and North Korea.

The prophecy of Gog and Magog refers to a great world war centered on the Holy Land and Jerusalem and first appears in the book of Yechezkel (Ezekiel).

Israeli TV Stations Showing 'Gog and Magog' Charts
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You know, it is kind of scary when secular sources start connecting the dots. Shocked Shocked

KEEP LOOKING UP

Brothers and sisters!!
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2007, 11:03:03 PM »

Iran behind shipment of advanced bombs into Afghanistan
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST    Oct. 18, 2007

The top NATO commander in Afghanistan said Thursday his troops intercepted a weapons convoy coming from Iran last month containing sophisticated explosive devices and blamed the Iranian military for involvement in its shipment.

US Army Gen. Dan McNeill, the commander of NATO's 40,000-strong International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, said the convoy contained "a number of advance technology improvised explosive devices" and was intercepted on Sept. 5th in western Afghanistan.

"This weapons convoy clearly, geographically, originated in Iran," McNeill told reporters in Kabul.

"It is difficult for me to conceive that this convoy could have originated in Iran and come to Afghanistan, without at least the knowledge of the Iranian military," McNeill said.

Iran behind shipment of advanced bombs into Afghanistan
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« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2007, 11:10:43 PM »

Russia working on new nuclear weapons

Russia's Putin takes on public's questions on US, Iran and country's nuclear capabilities in Moscow's sixth annual presidential-public meet

Dudi Cohen
Published: 10.18.07, 12:24
Israel News

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he believes a direct dialogue, rather than continuing Western sanctions, would be more effective in solving the crisis revolving around Iran's nuclear program.

Putin addressed the question in an annual event held in Moscow, the sixth of its kind so far, where he customarily answers the Russian people's questions regarding matters of State.

"A direct dialogue with the countries we have disagreements with is always a better, more effective way, to deal with differences than threatening sanctions, or use of force," said Putin. (like some of the attacks Russia has made, here of late.... DW)

Earlier Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied reports claiming Putin and he discussed the Iranian nuclear program. Putin, said the Iranian president, "offered nothing but friendship and cooperation."

When asked of his opinions on US moves in Iraq, Putin suggested that the US military campaign in Iraq had turned into a campaign against the Iraqi people.

Putin was also asked whether or not he thought the US was eyeing Russia's resources: "I know that some politicians play with such ideas in their heads. This, in my view, is such political erotica that might satisfy a person but hardly leads to a positive result," said Putin.

"Russia, thank God, isn't Iraq," he added. "It has enough strength and power to defend itself and its interests, both on its territory and in other parts of the world."

Russia, said Putin, was working on new types of nuclear weapons: "We will develop missile technology including completely new strategic (nuclear) complexes… the work is continuing and continuing successfully."

Russia working on new nuclear weapons
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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2007, 11:13:34 PM »

The arrogant are becoming more arrogant........ You see it in the Chinese, the leaders of 95% of the  muslim nations, and people like Chavez and Castro.............

Battle lines are being drawn more of late, then at almost any other time in history.
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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2007, 11:36:14 PM »

Putin calls for powerful Russia parliament

By Michael Stott Thu Oct 18, 10:22 AM ET

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Thursday for a powerful parliament and unchanged policies after he leaves the Kremlin, hinting he may go on to use a power base in parliament to dominate the country.

Putin's intentions after his second presidential term ends next year have attracted intense interest following his decision to head the candidates' list of United Russia, the biggest political party, and consider becoming a future prime minister.

"In 2007 and 2008 we have parliamentary and presidential elections and there will be a different person in the Kremlin," Putin said in a three-hour question-and-answer session with citizens televised live.

"In these conditions it is extremely important to preserve a stable path of development for our state and the continuity of decisions taken in the past few years... It is vital that parliament is effective."

Putin spent most of the session talking about domestic, bread-and-butter issues such as pensions, wages, schools, prices and investment in Russia's crumbling infrastructure.

With an eye on a parliamentary election in December, Putin repeatedly hailed Russia's high economic growth and improved living standards. He promised higher pensions to help fight runaway inflation, which is heading for double digits this year.

Speaking to soldiers at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia's far north who earlier on Thursday test-fired a ballistic missile, Putin promised new nuclear and conventional weapons as part of Moscow's military build-up.

He referred more than once to Iraq's experience, which he said showed the need for Russia to keep strong defenses to counter countries that might try to grab its energy resources.

"Thank God Russia is not Iraq," Putin told a questioner. "It is strong enough to protect its interests."

Putin told the United States to set a date for withdrawing all troops from Iraq and said it was "absolutely unacceptable to keep the occupation force in place ... for eternity.

CENTRE OF GRAVITY

An analyst said Putin's remarks about a strong parliament contained clues to how he will retain influence after 2008.

"One of the scenarios is that there will be a strong pro-Putin majority in parliament and the centre of gravity of political life will move towards that majority," independent analyst Dmitry Oreshkin told Reuters.

"Since parliament will in effect be controlled by Putin then correspondingly all policy in the country will be controlled by Putin."

On foreign policy, Putin warned Washington against striking Iran, whose nuclear program has been the subject of United Nations sanctions.

Touching on Washington's plans for a missile defense shield in Europe and Asia, which have angered Russia, Putin said the United States was trying to address Moscow's concerns.

But he said Russia may decide to re-deploy its weapons if its interests were not heeded.

Speaking in front of a studio backdrop decorated in Russia's national colors, the president congratulated troops on successfully test-firing a long-range missile, praised the national soccer team for beating England the previous day and pledged new and better weapons for the armed forces.

"We will develop missile technology including completely new strategic (nuclear) complexes, completely new," Putin said. "Work is continuing and continuing successfully."

"We will not only give attention to the whole nuclear triad -- strategic rocket forces, strategic aviation and the nuclear submarine fleet -- but also other types of weapons."

Putin has said he will lend his support to a preferred presidential candidate in the elections but gave no hint on Thursday of who that might be.

Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov was the only top official he praised by name. Putin extolled the virtues of Zubkov's fight against corruption in his previous role running a anti-money laundering watchdog.

Putin calls for powerful Russia parliament
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« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2007, 11:37:49 PM »

Russia test-launches missile

Thu Oct 18, 2:32 AM ET

MOSCOW - Russia on Thursday carried out a successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Topol RS-12M rocket hit its intended target on Kamchatka near the Pacific Ocean, the Russian Strategic Missile Forces said in a statement. The launch, from the Plesetsk launch facility in northern Russia, was part of the country's plan to upgrade its ballistic missiles and extend the life of its Topol missiles.

The successful test will allow Russia to maintain the Topol rocket for 21 years, the statement said, significantly more than the original 10 years forecast.

"Extending the service life of the Topol missile class will allow for the replacement of rockets being phased out with a new generation of rocket without putting a burden on the military budget," the statement said.

Russia test-launches missile
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