Thursday, July 19, 2012

News out of the Middle East today: chemical weapons Syria, drought, freak storm, and Bulgaria bus

Here is some of the recent news for you.

MIDDLE EAST

Do you remember just two months ago Israel's largest-ever coalition government was created, when the party leader for the Kadima party Shaul Mofaz became Vice Prime Minister as part of a deal reached for a government of national unity with Binyamin Netanyahu and the Likud party? Well, all that's over now.

Mofaz Quits Israeli Government: Why he did it, and what it means.
"Some Kadima members, and political analysts, believe Mofaz decision could effectively destroy the party, which is already bleeding public support. With Kadima out of the government, Netanyahu’s government still retains a healthy majority of 12 seats in the Knesset. But this upheaval could lead to new elections by the end of the year, or possibly in early 2013. It could also complicate the PM’s decision to launch a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. I believe Netanyahu is seriously considering a strike against Iran this fall, before the U.S. elections. But if his governing coalition falls apart, or if his approval ratings drop significantly, this could impede his ability to garner domestic Israeli support for such a strike."

Washington Post
It is a shame that Mofaz led his party away from the unity government this week. Just a few days later Israeli youths were the target of a horrific terrorist act of blowing up a bus full of Israeli citizens at the Bulgarian airport at Bursa. "A suicide bomber with fake US identification carried out the attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria yesterday, according to Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov," reports Christian Science Monitor.

Reaction from Israel's highest echelons has been swift and fierce. Between rocket attacks on Israeli soil, some of them occurring just yesterday, instability in neighboring Syria, especially the pivotally important Golan Heights, and now this attack abroad, Israel is well and truly fed up. The strongest language yet has been issues forth in a harsh speech: "Netanyahu Vows 'Forceful Response to Iranian Terror'" and is quoted as saying, "Iranian terror continues to strike at innocents. Israel will respond with force to the Iranian terror," he said."

Of course today the Israelis are backing down from that promise of a forceful response, that it won't rush to retaliate. It is surely a time of wars and rumors of wars, as Jesus said the time of the end would be (Matthew 24:6)

If the Unity Government had remained intact it certainly would make it much easier to obtain an affirmative vote for military action. As it is, we will see what will happen next. For now, in looking at the photo array from Washington Post, tears come to my eyes in searching the faces of these victims...

Resolve in the face of this Paramedic

Anguish in this young woman. You notice her shoes were blown off, and her feet are bandaged. Likely she had to walk over broken glass to get to safety.

Despair in this elder's face.

We have the hope of His coming. We cling to prophecy as a promise through which we can be comforted about our future with Jesus. But that doesn't diminish the anguish of the now. He said that at the time of the end "there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity..." (Luke 21:25a). The distress of the nations is our distress. These things must be. Prophecy even explains how and why, and in that way, our brains are satisfied. But our hearts ache.

IRAN

Ex-Iran Revolutionary Guard member Reza Kahlili (not this real name) has been warning us for a little while now that the flavor of terrorism will change. He has been saying that the face of terrorism as the US citizens and Israeli citizens have known it will change from brown to white. Muslims have been working hard at setting up terror cells in Mexico, working with the Mexican drug cartels. They have been busy in South America and the US and/or recruiting people from heretofore unassailed racial groups. Terrorists doing Hezbollah business could be brown or white, Hispanic, Caucasian or anything in between.

As a matter of fact the Jewish Press article from yesterday states, "In Norway, for example, an ethnic Norwegian convert to militant Islam who has received terrorist training from al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Yemen, is awaiting orders to carry out an attack on the West, officials from three European security agencies said on June 25. European officials have confirmed that the man is “operational,” meaning he has completed his training and is about to receive a target."

USA Today has an article noting the connection between Dearborn Michigan, and the fact that this white, lanky, American-ized suspect entered Bulgaria on a fake US driver's license. "Officials were using DNA samples to try to establish his identity. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov told reporters that a Michigan driver's license was retrieved, but he said U.S. officials reported that "there was no such person in their database." Michigan is home to one of the largest Arab communities in the U.S."

Dearborn is home to THE largest US mosque, too. Dearborn of late has been host to an influx of Middle East immigrants. Wikipedia: "Assyrians/Chaldeans/Syriacs have also immigrated to the area. Since then, Arab immigrants from Yemen, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories, most of whom are Muslim, have joined them. Lebanese Americans are still the most numerous group. The Arab Muslim community has built the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in North America."

Iran is still belligerent. And ready.

Ex-Revolutionary Guard member: Iran ready with terror plans to hit U.S. if Israel attacks
"Kahlili says, in the event of an Israeli airstrike, Iran is prepared to up the ante, not by responding militarily, but with a global campaign of terror attacks." Should it become an all-out war, then they will definitely respond on the world stage by terrorist attacks within the U.S., in Europe, and against America's interests, against Israel's interests," Kahlili says. Intelligence officers believe Iran has already done the pre-operation surveillance for a series of terrorist attacks. There's plenty of evidence that Tehran has scoped out targets, taken photos and written plans for terrorist strikes in the Mideast, Europe, South America, and even the United States."

SYRIA

Yesterday saw one of the largest battles in Damascus Syria. (Isaiah 17:1). The situation is increasingly unstable. The blast near Parliament killed the core of the Syrian Security elite. Syria is in chaos after the attack on the regime

Everybody is eyeing those chemical weapons that could be up for grabs if the regime falls. See this next article-

Israel and the US reportedly discussed attacking Syrian weapon stockpiles in light of the situation in Damascus
"Against the backdrop of the Syrian instability, the New York Times is reporting that Israeli and US defense officials have discussed the possibility of destroying the weapon stockpiles of the Syrian army. The move is considered as a means of preventing the weapons from falling into the hands of terror elements, such as Hezbollah."

WEATHER

Crazy, crazy, crazy. These photos at the Daily Mail are astounding! I'll post just a few. The Daily Mail's pics are very large and you will get a real sense of the power of God when He uses weather if you go there to see them all.



More at Daily Mail. Here is The Guardian's take on the "Freak Summer Storm Hits NYC".

That storm might have broken the heat in NY but it is still going strong in the US Midwest, and is killing the corn. The heat is forecast to linger for the rest of the summer. The worst drought in 25 years has brought about the devastation of the corn crop, and likely soybeans too. This in turn has already caused food prices to rise. "Vilsack revealed that 78 percent of U.S. corn and 11 percent of soybean crops had been hit, and compared the situation to a 1988 drought that cut production by 20 percent and cost the economy tens of billions of dollars."This will result in significant increases in prices for corn. We've seen a 38 percent increase since June 1 in the price of a bushel of corn — it's now $7.88. A bushel of beans has risen 24 percent," he said." (Revelation 6:6, Matthew 24:7).


Stunted corn grows next to a cattle feed lot in Springfield,
rural Omaha, Neb. on Tuesday. The drought gripping the United States
is the widest since 1956. (Nati Harnik/AP)
Remember that drought, the big drought, AKA the Dustbowl?
"For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a yellowish-brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North. The simplest acts of life — breathing, eating a meal, taking a walk — were no longer simple. Children wore dust masks to and from school, women hung wet sheets over windows in a futile attempt to stop the dirt, farmers watched helplessly as their crops blew away." [source]

Here is a drought map from today, July 19, 2012, from National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration. (NOAA). 55 of the contiguous 48 states are suffering drought conditions.

"The 1936 North American heat wave was the most severe heat wave in the modern history of North America. It took place in the middle of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and caused catastrophic human suffering and an enormous economic toll. The death toll exceeded 5,000, and huge numbers of crops were destroyed by the heat and lack of moisture."

It would be interesting to compare the 1936 Depression heat wave with the current heat wave. The 1936 heat wave information from Wiki was last updated in 2007. I am sure the comparison would be illuminating, as would a comparison to the drought and crop failures. But you would have to be a better man than I. My heart aches enough as it is.

Keep praying and keep looking up!

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