Did Saddam Really Have Illegal Weapons?

Did Saddam Really Have Illegal Weapons?
Vol: 19 Issue: 30 Wednesday, April 30, 2003

It has only been a few weeks, and Iraq is a big country. But all we have found is a few possible sites for manufacture and a few depots where ingredients that could create weapons of mass destruction were stored.

Even the underground nuclear complex at the vast Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center that looked like the smoking gun has not yet been assessed. And for all we know, at least some of the nuclear material inside may have been looted and put on the black market.

Tuwaitha is headquarters of Iraq’s Atomic Energy Agency, with hundreds of structures covering some 120 acres. At the height of Iraq’s clandestine nuclear weapons program, which nearly succeeded in building a bomb in 1991, Tuwaitha incorporated research reactors, uranium mining and enrichment facilities, chemical engineering plants and an explosives fabrication center to build the device that detonates a nuclear core.

Before the war began last month, the center held 3,896 pounds of partially enriched uranium, more than 94 tons of natural uranium and smaller quantities of cesium, cobalt and strontium, according to reports compiled through the 1990s by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Immensely valuable on the international black market, the uranium was in a form suitable for further enrichment to “weapons grade,” the core of a nuclear device. The other substances, products of medical and industrial waste, emit intense radiation. They have been sought, officials said, by terrorists seeking to build a so-called dirty bomb, which uses conventional explosives to scatter dangerous radioactive particles.

Defense officials acknowledge that the U.S. government has no idea whether any of Tuwaitha’s potentially deadly contents have been stolen, because it has not dispatched investigators to appraise the site. What it does know, according to officials at the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command, is that the sprawling campus, 11 miles south of Baghdad, lay unguarded for days and that looters made their way inside.

Disputes inside the U.S. Defense Department and with other government agencies have slowed the preparation of orders for a team of nuclear experts to assess Tuwaitha, officials said.

President Bush’s senior advisers have accused the IAEA, under Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, of being hostile to U.S. objectives in Iraq. Civilian policy officials in the Pentagon, according to people with first-hand knowledge, initially proposed to make a complete inspection of Tuwaitha without the IAEA — an exercise that apparently would have required U.S. government experts to break seals the agency’s inspectors placed on safeguarded nuclear materials. The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which the United States is a signatory, gives the IAEA exclusive authority over those seals.

Until that dispute is settled, what Saddam had at Tuwaitha — and whether it is still there — will remain shrouded by the fog of war and the even foggier diplomatic processes.

Assessment:

So, we know what we don’t know about Tuwaitha — what else don’t we know we don’t know, and how long haven’t we known it? Or something like that.

Clearly, the war’s legitimacy in the eyes of much of the world may well rest on whether chemical and biological weapons are ever found. Although for some of the world, like the French or Germans or Russians it will never be legitimate. Especially since anything we do find in future will probably trace back to one of the three, anyway.

If Saddam had them, why didn’t he use them early in the war when he fired the Scuds he didn’t have into Kuwait? There are a couple of possible reasons. The first might be the fact he was killed or incapacitated in the first hours of the war. We still don’t know for sure.

The second might be that the psycho-ops operations worked and commanders in the field didn’t order their use. A third possible reason could be that we hit all the launchers in the first few hours. Fourthly, US troops moved so quickly it is possible the Iraqis couldn’t use them without hitting themselves.

The problem with all of these theories is this. Regardless of WHY the weapons weren’t deployed, if they were there, WHERE did they go?

That isn’t to say that the weapons didn’t exist. Saddam had them before, and the idea they were destroyed without records is ludicrous.

Like the Nazis, the Iraqi regime documented everything meticulously. They even documented the butchery, torture and executions that was part of daily life in Iraq. It is ridiculous to assume they would not have documented the destruction of the tons of nerve gas and chemical weapons they claimed they destroyed voluntarily after they threw out the weapons inspectors in 1998.

So, the mystery remains. If they existed, why didn’t Saddam use them and where are they now?

There is one more possibility that fits with what is known about Saddam Hussein.

He gambled and lost. For the last dozen years since Gulf War I, Saddam managed to play the international community like a bass fiddle. A good example is the documentary evidence that clearly builds a case that Saddam paid off France, Germany and Russia to obstruct the US invasion.

Saddam truly believed that France, Russia, and, more broadly, world opinion would either prevent any hostilities in the first place or halt any operation before it reached Baghdad.

Saddam was gambling that, like in Gulf War I, international pressure would force the US to stop short of Baghdad. Especially if, along the way, coalition forces did NOT find any evidence of WMD.

Saddam knew that, WMD or not, he could not win the war militarily. He also knew that if he DID deploy weapons of mass destruction, no political pressure on earth would stop the United States from flattening him and his regime.

Every U.N. report concluded that Saddam was not fully disclosing his program. What’s more, the inspectors had better technology and access than had been available in the past. Their numbers and knowledge were sure to build, and they had world opinion on their side.

The smart course for Saddam? Bury whatever he had in some obscure corner of the country, where inspectors would never find it. But doing so meant that the weapons would be inaccessible if they were needed in a war.

It would be a reasonable gamble for someone who thought his regime would never be in real danger, thanks to global outrage at an unprovoked attack. This theory is consistent not only with how things played out [nobody has found these weapons yet] but also with intelligence reports that Saddam would use these arms only as a last resort to defend his regime.

In a curious way, the UN inspectors were effective in preventing the deployment of those weapons, disarming Saddam in fact, even if it were unable to disarm Iraq formally. The UN inspection regime forced Saddam to hide his weapons so well they would be unavailable when he needed them.

That is the only theory that fits the known facts. Otherwise, Saddam’s behavior over the past dozen years makes no sense. Why hide things if he had nothing to hide? That the regime lied, and played a ‘cheat and retreat’ game is well documented.

Why would Saddam have blocked inspections if nothing could be found? Why would he have endured sanctions and no-fly zones for 10 years? He could have opened up his palaces and other sites and ended inspections years ago if he had nothing. As much money as he made and stole, it was nothing compared to the riches he could have had running a sanction-free Iraq.

Saddam had every incentive to be open if he had no banned weapons. Logic, history and ordinary deductive reasoning demand that those weapons be out there somewhere.

Saddam gambled and lost. George Bush gambled as well. Whether or not Bush won his bet won’t be known until we know where Saddam’s arsenal is now.

Because it s out there. Somewhere. And we better find it before the terrorists do.

The war won’t be over until we do.

Thanks for the Base . . .Here’s Your Hat!

Thanks for the Base . . .Here’s Your Hat!
Vol: 19 Issue: 29 Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Thanks for the Base . . .Here’s Your Hat!

Ever since the United States went to war in 1991 to prevent Saddam Hussein from using Kuwait to invade Saudi Arabia, it has been necessary to keep a military presence there to keep Saddam at bay.

Here is how it worked. The Saudis were threatened by Saddam. The Saudis asked the US to maintain a presence there. Once Saddam was defeated, the Saudis wanted us to get out. Until they realized Saddam wasn’t defeated, just contained. At that point, the House of Saud magnimously granted the US ‘permission’ to stay on Saudi soil while it defended Saudi interests.

Nice of them. In return for this Saudi ‘generosity’ in allowing the US to stay and defend them, all the Saudis asked in return was to keep our troops away from their people, that women soldiers not be allowed to drive, that all soldiers not be allowed to express their religion (unless they were Muslims) and that we pay for a big base there that we could use to protect them without actually having to be seen by them.

By protecting the Saudis, we earned the emnity of the Arab world, including the hatred of the Saudi religious fanatic Osama bin-Laden. Not to mention the hatred of the Saudi people themselves.

To bin-Laden and other Wahabi Muslims, the presence of infidel troops on holy Saudi soil was an affront.

I’ve listened to the useful idiots argue that we don’t understand their culture and that we shouldn’t expect them to love us. Why not? They expected us to die for them. Suppose it were a case of Americans treating Saudis as less than full equals. What would the useful idiots say about that?

In any case, we accepted the responsibility (and expense) of maintaining our troop presence for twelve long (and for the troops, mind-numbingly dull) years, despised by our ‘hosts’ as hired mercenaries.

And in gratitude for our protection, nineteen mostly Saudi terrorists — at the direction of their Saudi leader — murdered 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.

Assessment:

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced yesterday that the United States was ending its military presence in Saudi Arabia. When asked if we were leaving at the request of the Saudi government, Rumsfeld said only, “It was by VERY mutual agreement.”

Rumsfeld said that the key air combat control center had already been switched to Qatar and that the US-built and maintained Prince Bandar al Sultan airbase will become Saudi property. “Thanks for the multi-billion dollar base. Here’s your hat and coat. Don’t forget to write.”

The fall of Saddam Hussein means a brand-new world for the Saudis — but it won’t be the one they were expecting. The ever present threat of an Iraqi invasion is over — but so is the cozy relationship the Saudis had with the world’s only hyper-power.

The Saudis contempt for the United States was never more than thinly-veiled, but we were content to put up with it because we needed their oil. And we still do. But not like we have for the last twelve years while Iraq’s oil was embargoed.

It’s a new day for Riyadh.

The House of Saud’s hold on the country is tenuous at best; Wahabi Islam is so powerful in Saudi Arabia that if Osama bin Laden were to run for office, he’d be elected hands down.

In 1975, the population of Saudi Arabia was 7.3 million. Last year, the Saudi population had swelled to 22.8 million with almost ten million of those younger than age 14.

This is a deadly combination for any society: a pampered, highly literate and youthful population; a government run by old men with inbred princelings getting all the plum jobs; crushing unemployment; and, a deteriorating standard of living.

It is no wonder that Osama bin-Laden is a hero to millions of Saudis. He s pledged to bring down the House of Saud. Of course, he has no intention of turning the government over to the people, but for many Saudis, any change is an improvement.

The House of Saud hopes the removal of the US presence on Saudi soil will heal all wounds among their restive population. In point of fact, the US has pulled more than its troop presence. It is unlikely that King Abdullah will get another invitation to the ranch at Crawford.

If the House of Saud gets any future support or consideration from Washington, it will only be in the event that it serves our interests.

There are big changes ahead. Changes that will reshape the face of the Middle East.

In the coming weeks, we’ll look at how those changes line up with the rest of the Big Picture. Meanwhile, keep looking up.

The Coalition’s Mole?

The Coalition’s Mole?
Vol: 19 Issue: 28 Monday, April 28, 2003

The early news reports following the capture of one of the most well-known of Saddam’s henchmen, Tariq Aziz, suggest that the deputy prime minister was really a coalition mole. And that he will be handsomely rewarded.

Tariq Aziz was Saddam’s mouthpiece during Gulf War I, but as we learn more about Saddam’s regime, we find Saddam never completely trusted the only non-Muslim member of his inner-circle. Saddam placed members of Tariq Aziz’s family under arrest shortly before the start of the war to make sure he stayed loyal.

Concerns about the fate of his family – in particular his eldest son – if he surrendered to coalition forces was Aziz’s primary concern during the lengthy negotiations that finally resulted in his decision to give himself up at the end of last week.

“Tariq was still terrified of what the remnants of Saddam’s regime would do to his family if he surrendered to us,” said a Western security officer quoted in the London Telegraph. “Even if Saddam were dead, he knew that there were still Ba’ath Party loyalists who would want to exact revenge on his family.”

As part of Aziz’s surrender terms, coalition commanders agreed to place the Iraqi politician’s immediate family under the equivalent of protective custody to ensure that they were safe from revenge attacks by Saddam loyalists.

There are rumors circulating in the British tabloids that Aziz also negotiated a $1.5 million annual pension and a mansion in Britain in exchange for his cooperation both during Gulf War II and afterward.

(Although that comes from the London Sun, which is rabidly anti-coalition, so I caution to take that with a grain of salt).

Still, it seems probable that while the details are still emerging from the fog of war, there are some facts behind the ‘mole’ story that give it legs.

Bear with me while we sort it out together.

Hours before American troops first entered Baghdad, Tariq Aziz went to his information ministry for a secret meeting with the Russian ambassador. The appointment with Vladimir Titorenko was set for 1 pm on April 9.

Two hours later there was no sign of the Russian envoy and Aziz left the ministry. A few hours after that, the Russian convoy was shot up by an unknown force of attackers, wounding a Russian diplomat.

Aziz would not be seen again until he handed himself over to US forces in Baghdad last Thursday. The information that led the administration to alter the battle plans and target a villa where Saddam was believed hiding had to have come from someone of Tariq Aziz’s level.

And whether or not Aziz was responsible for providing intelligence about Saddam s whereabouts during the conflict, there is no doubt that the Iraqi dictator had become deeply suspicious about his deputy prime minister s intentions.

In the late 1990s, when Aziz failed to persuade the United Nations to lift the sanctions imposed on Iraq at the end of the Gulf war, Saddam briefly imprisoned the politician s eldest son as punishment. And we’ve learned some pretty sickening things over the past few weeks about what life was like for Iraqi political prisoners.

In the weeks preceding Operation Iraqi Freedom, Saddam ordered the detention of several members of Aziz s family following suspicions that he was preparing to defect to the West. So the mere fact that Aziz even negotiated a surrender is a strong indication that Aziz no longer fears what Saddam can do to him — or his family.

This is especially significant given that early reports say Aziz himself said Saddam emerged alive from both the pre-war strike and a subsequent strike at a restaurant halfway through the conflict.

Assessment:

Our mission is to try and unspin the news, sifting out rumors and agendas so you can see what remains and draw your own conclusions. To do that, we’ve spent the whole morning sorting out what is being said in the Arab press, which overwhelmingly has concluded that Aziz is indeed the coalition’s mole.

That there was a coalition mole that provided critical information about Saddam’s movements was confirmed last week by President Bush. But the comments made by the president suggest the mole either wasn’t Aziz, or Bush didn’t know it was Aziz.

In a speech last week, President Bush said he believed that Saddam had either been killed or critically injured in the March 20 attack, and paid tribute to the “brave soul” who provided Centcom with the intelligence that enabled the attack to take place.

Asked if the Iraqi spy was still alive, Bush replied: “Yes he is. He is with us. Thank God.” It seems unlikely that, had he known it was Aziz, the president would have been so lavish with his praise. Whether he tipped off the coalition or not, Aziz has plenty of Iraqi blood on his own hands.

It’s an early analysis, but there are a lot of rumors floating around. I caution you to remember that is what they are — rumors.

There is a point to this exercise in sorting out fact from fiction — and in being cautious — that we need remember as we serve out our enlistments as the watchmen on the wall.

As the last days scenario unfolds, there is as much rumor as fact being embraced by well-meaning Christians who, knowing what the Bible has to say, attempt to make current events fit Bible prophecy, rather than the other way around.

Repeating rumor has a tendency to marginalize our testimony, particularly when there is so much confirmed evidence out there that says we are living in the last days.

Whether or not Tariq Aziz is a coalition mole has nothing to do with the unfolding of Bible prophecy that I can see, but there are many parts of the Iraq story that do.

I selected the Aziz story to build my assessment around because it is such an exquisite example of how rumor and fact can be bundled together and reinterpreted so that a figure as appalling as Tariq Aziz can be virtually rehabilitated, pensioned off and praised as a ‘brave soul’ by the President of the United States — thanks to an overnight newspaper rumor.

Even if it isn’t true. Even though that ‘brave soul’s’ cooperation didn’t get Saddam.

The Bible says that a leader will one day come to power, speaking great swelling words of peace, who will so captivate the entire world that he will eventually be worshipped as God by a sophisticated, educated and worldly 21st century population. Seems impossible.

But given enough rumor, mixed with the right amount of fact, Tariq Aziz can become, temporarily at least, a hero of the Gulf War coalition. Before Saddam is even confirmed dead.

People will believe what they want to believe. About anybody.

When All the News Is Bad

When All the News Is Bad
Vol: 19 Issue: 27 Sunday, April 27, 2003

The deeper the United States gets into the inner workings of the Saddam Hussein regime, the worse the news gets for nations like the French, Russians and Germans. And the worse the news gets for all those who confidently predicted that the post-war evidence would prove the war was really an American smokescreen behind which Washington could steal Iraq’s oil wealth.

The ones who continue to ask (now somewhat hysterically) “Where is the evidence of Iraq’s WMD? Huh? Huh?!” And, “what about the so-called connection to al-Qaeda?”

Now that the war is pretty much over, many of the documents blowing all over Baghdad are providing some of those answers and the spin doctors are working overtime trying to downplay them.

Documents found by reporters (not the administration) detail the private briefings that Washington regularly gave to its French allies as a courtesy. They were found in the wreckage of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry that proved that each of these private briefings were then immediately relayed from Paris to Baghdad.

The documents show a deep and intimate relationship that existed between Paris and Baghdad for decades before Gulf War I and all the way up to the outbreak of Gulf War II.

The information, described in the files as having come partly from “friends of Iraq” at the French Foreign Ministry, kept Saddam informed of every development in America’s planning and might have helped him prepare for war.

The French briefed Iraqi leaders of what evidence Washington had against Saddam and what evidence they DIDN’T have — so Saddam knew when to call Washington’s bluff and when not to.

The details of the French briefings were exquisitely painstaking, and were contained in a thick folder labeled ‘France 2001’.

An account of a meeting between former French foreign minister Hubert Vedrine and Powell after September 11 was also found in the Baghdad archives. At the meeting, Powell was reported to have said he was planning to raise the issue of Russian “cooperation” with Iraq.

The report said Powell “is going to ask the Russian foreign minister how Russia could cooperate with a country that had expressed satisfaction at America being subjected to such attacks. He is going to ask for a new draft resolution from the United Nations Security Council on Iraq.”

The French also provided Saddam Hussein with useful information it gleaned from other foreign governments. For example, another of documents in the France File was one telling Saddam that “the Israelis have informed the French ambassador in Washington that they have no evidence of Iraqi involvement in the attacks.”

All these documents blowing in the wind in Baghdad are filled with bad news for the ‘useful idiots’ (to quote Lenin) who were convinced that they finally had some reason for opposing the war apart from their hatred of the ‘selected’ Commander in Chief.

They’ve gone way out on a limb from the outset, believing the French-sponsored propaganda that the United States was inventing links between Iraq and al-Qaeda.

Also blowing in the Baghdad breeze were documents outlining a meeting between Saddam and an al-Qaeda envoy who was invited clandestinely to Baghdad in March 1998 to establish a relationship between Baghdad and al-Qaeda based on their mutual hatred of America and Saudi Arabia. The meeting apparently went so well that it was extended by a week and ended with arrangements being discussed for a visit to Baghdad by Osama bin-Ladin.

Three stapled pages, including two which bear the insignia and lettering of the Mukhabarat (intelligence service) include correspondence between Mukhabarat agencies over preparations for the visit of the al-Qaeda envoy, who travelled to Iraq from Sudan, where bin Laden had been based until 1996.

Apparently aware of the sensitivity of the subject matter, the newspaper reported that Iraqi agents at some point attempted to mask out all references to bin-Laden using white correcting fluid. The dried fluid was removed to reveal the clearly legible name three times in the documents.

One document, dated February 19, 1998, marked “Top Secret and Urgent,” and signed “MDA,”believed to be the director of one of the intelligence sections within the Mukhabarat, refers to the planned visit by bin-Ladin’s unnamed envoy.

The letter referred to bin-Ladin as an opponent of the Saudi regime and said the message to convey to him through the envoy “would relate to the future of our relationship with him, bin-Ladin, and to achieve a direct meeting with him.” A handwritten note at the bottom of the page recommended that “the deputy director-general bring the envoy to Iraq because we may find in this envoy a way to maintain contacts with bin-Ladin.”

The other documents confirmed the envoy’s visit to Baghdad in March 1998 and his stay at al-Mansour Melia hotel. It mentioned that his visit was extended by a week.

Assessment:

For the useful idiots and the doublecrossers in Europe, all the news is bad. The news is just as bad for those liberal media organizations who allowed partisan hatreds to cloud their judgement, convincing them that George Bush was just as big a crook as Bill Clinton.

They had grown used to expecting the White House to lie to them anyway, so it was not difficult for them to convince themselves of a vast right-wing conspiracy headed by the evil George Bush.

Now it is the media — not the government — who keep coming up with all these damning documents that they have to report while hoping the public has forgotten their previous pronouncements.

I don’t think that is going to happen. This morning I saw a new Fox News promo in which they touted their network as one that isn’t a ‘lapdog for dictators’ — a clear and deserved slam at CNN who covered up events in Iraq in order to keep their satellite open in Baghdad.

ABC’s Peter Jennings (who never met an Arab dictator or a socialist cause he didn’t like), warned for months of the long, brutal and painful war that was ahead. When that didn’t happen, he focused on the tens of thousands of civilian casualties that were ‘surely underreported by the Pentagon’ and when that didn’t happen, he found a way to blame Bush for the looting of the Baghdad Museum (which is still being investigated as a possible inside job pulled off during the fog of war). The way Jennings spun it, “The U.S. did not act in accordance with international law to prevent it.”

When Saddam’s statue was pulled down, Jennings suggested it was staged ‘for the cameras’ while making the same claim about video of Iraqis cheering the Americans as they moved across Iraq. Why the Iraqis would then want to cooperate with American journalists, Jennings doesn’t say.

Once it was clear that the jubiliation was real and that the Iraqis evidently hadn’t been watching his broadcasts to learn how angry they were, Jennings explained away the contradiction, saying the jubilation was because because they wanted to get out from under the yoke of Saddam Hussein, in part because the US supported him staying in power for a long time and kept sanctions.

For some, all the news is bad. The French are proved liars and double-crossers who sold their national integrity to Saddam Hussein for a few oil leases. And more — they actively spied for Saddam in secret. In public, they deplored Saddam but backed eliminating the sanctions out of sympathy for the plight of the Iraqi people. The bad news for them is that this is only the beginning.

For the liberal media, the bad news is that they are exposed for what they are. CNN has been proved to paid for its cushy Baghdad offices by playing footsie with Saddam. ABC has been exposed as a partisan tool of the liberal left.

For the useful idiots, the bad news is manifold. First, it turns out that the Bush administration had all the justification it claimed it had for the war in the first place. US troops continue to find chemical weapons components. Iraqi scientists have begun fessing up to the fact they lied to the UN inspection teams while Saddam was still in power and are pointing out where they hid everything.

Iraq is linked by documentary evidence to al-Qaeda in the months immediately leading up to the attacks on September 11, which made Saddam Hussein’s Iraq a legitimate, Congressionally approved, internationally legal war of self-defense, destroying 100% of the United Nation’s arguments about the legality or illegality of the war in the first place. If Saddam and bin-Laden colluded in the attack on America, the UN is no longer part of the legal equation.

It means that they have been useful pawns in the hands of the enemies of their own country — that they have wasted their time and treasure — not objecting against an unjust war, but instead helping the French, Germans and Russians cover up their own unjust profiteering at the expense of starving Iraqi children all sides claimed to be advocates for.

One of the most startling unintended consequences of Gulf War II is the sudden and brutal way that the veneer of lies has been ripped away. It is actually painful, like tearing off a band-aid too fast. So many lies were exposed at once that the sheer volume of them has somewhat of a numbing effect on the psyche. It’s almost as if it can’t be true.

We learned a lot about our own society and global social structure from the documents blowing in the Baghdad breeze.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Because, as Paul writes, “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13).

That is why we labor to put out your Omega Letter every morning. To provide you with the evidence necessary to dissipate the bodyguard of lies most people welcome into their homes with every newscast. We have our mission, and we pray that we do not falter as we grow closer to that Day.

“. . .continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Keep the faith.

Ted Turner Explains Propaganda — It All Comes From Fox

Ted Turner Explains Propaganda — It All Comes From Fox
Vol: 19 Issue: 26 Saturday, April 26, 2003

“There’s really five companies that control 90 percent of what we read, see and hear. It’s not healthy.” So said CNN’s Ted Turner, who spent the 1990’s helping to centralize that media control by merging Time, Warner Bros, CNN and AOL into the world’s second largest media conglomerate.

Turner made his comments while slamming the world’s first-largest media conglomerate – Newscorp, belonging to arch-rival Rupert Murdoch.

Turner called rival media baron Rupert Murdoch a ‘warmonger’ for what Turner said was Murdoch’s promotion of the U.S. war in Iraq.

“He’s a warmonger,” Turner said in an evening speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco of Murdoch, whose News Corp. Ltd. owns the fast-growing Fox News Channel. “He promoted it.”

Fox News Channel has been the most popular U.S. cable news network during the conflict, trumping AOL Time Warner Inc.’s CNN, which Turner started more than two decades ago and came to prominence with its blanket coverage of the 1991 Gulf War.

Asked by an audience member for his thoughts on Fox’s larger ratings share than CNN’s, Turner said, “Just because your ratings are bigger doesn’t mean you’re better.”

“It’s not how big you are, it’s how good you are that really counts,” Turner said.

THAT comment reportedly drew hoots from the audience.

Turner, who has pledged to give $1 billion to the UN, a committed globalist who is dedicated proponent of population control and the destruction of the nation/state, dismissed Murdoch’s Newscorp as being driven by politics, rather than journalistic ethics.

To Turner, Murdoch is political because he did NOT oppose the United States, whereas CNN is less political because it supports the UN. But that is the mindset of CNN’s decision makers. Coverage is ‘politically slanted’ unless it dovetails with the CNN worldview. And what a worldview that is.

In an interview with the BBC, Turner said both the Israelis and Palestinians were engaged in terrorism. Only a few months after 9/11, Turner called the hijackers ‘very brave’.

Speaking of CNN’s own audience, Turner once said, “When you’ve got 80 channels like you do here, people watch whatever they want. And that’s the sad thing about it, because the more cerebral, the more complex, the more forward-looking the story is here in the United States, to a large extent the smaller the ratings are.”

So Turner thinks his ratings are slipping because CNN’s political positions are beyond the grasp of the average American. He once told a forum of CNN broadcasters, “The United States has got some of the dumbest people in the world. I want you to know that. We know that.”

Assessment:

Turner got support from his position from that other bastion of neutral impartiality, the state-owned British Broadcasting Corporation.

BBC Director General Greg Dyke said U.S. broadcasters’ coverage of the Iraq war was so unquestioningly patriotic and so lacking in impartiality that it threatened the credibility of America’s electronic media.

Dyke singled out for criticism Fox News Channel and Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest operator of radio stations in the United States.

“Personally, I was shocked while in the United States by how unquestioning the broadcast news media was during this war,” Dyke said in a speech at a University of London conference.

Note he was ‘shocked’ — shocked, he says.

I wonder if the BBC was ‘shocked’ at the revelations from CNN that it covered up much of what went on in Iraq during the past twelve years, withholding the truth about what it knew in order to keep their money-making Baghdad bureau in operation. As CNN’s Eason Jordan admitted, if CNN had told the truth about what they knew they would have been kicked out of the country.

So they stayed and lied, and kept CNN’s competitive edge in Baghdad while Fox was forced to report from the sidelines from Amman or Kuwait City.

What is even better is that America has ‘shocked’ the national media, the entertainment industry, academia and liberal weenie preachers. We aren t listening to them, and they can t stand it. The literati believe we are too dumb to think on our own, so their duty is to tell us what to think. Especially Ted Turner’s crowd.

The television networks made a big deal out of the fact that their personnel wouldn t wear American flag lapel pins. CNN pontificated that if they wore American lapel pins, they wouldn’t be perceived as ‘objective’ outside the United States. ABC, CBS and, early on, MSNBC spouted the same nonsense.

The one exception was Fox News Network. Their folks wear flag pins. Guess who had the biggest audience during the Iraqi war? Duh!

I watched CNN cover the toppling of the Saddam statue in downtown Baghdad. They showed a couple of excited young soldiers the the statue of Saddam and briefly cover his face with an American flag.

Wolf Blitzer and Christiane Amanpour looked like they were sucking lemons as they reported the story.

Seeing an American flag over Saddam’s face was just too . . well, shocking.

“Blood, Fire and Pillars of Smoke”

“Blood, Fire and Pillars of Smoke”
Vol: 19 Issue: 25 Friday, April 25, 2003

At a three-way meeting between officials of the United States, China and North Korea, the North Koreans kicked open the front door to the Nuclear Club and announced it was the newest member. Pyongyang’s negotiator took U.S. negotiator James Kelly aside at the talks and whisper in his ear that North Korea had gone nuclear.

Kelly has said nothing publicly. But a Japanese official said the U.S. envoy informed Japan his North Korean counterpart, Li Gun, had made the disclosure at lunch on Thursday.

The Washington Post quoted a U.S. official as saying Li had pulled Kelly aside and said, in effect: “We’ve got nukes. We can’t dismantle them. It’s up to you whether we do a physical demonstration or transfer them.”

Whether or not a ‘physical demonstration’ means a nuclear test or a nuclear strike is open to interpretation, but the threat to ‘transfer’ them is not. The latter is a clear threat to proliferate nuclear weapons to the highest bidder. Like, say, a terrorist group?

How serious is the North Korean admission? Foreign policy analysts said the North Koreans might be trying to deter any possible U.S. attack or to increase the pressure on Washington to meet their demand for security guarantees, aid and diplomatic recognition.

They also said it was ‘conceivable’ the North Koreans were bluffing. Pyongyang, which has been seeking a non-aggression pact with the United States, fears that the quick U.S. military victory in Iraq might embolden Washington to use force against North Korea. North Korea, along with Iran and prewar Iraq, constitute Bush’s “axis of evil.”

The Chinese, who leaked the North Korean admission to the press in the first place, are also saying that US and North Korean negotiators ‘agreed with a handshake to keep diplomatic channels open’ — whatever that means.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said “strong views were presented” by all sides. “The North Koreans should not leave the meetings in Beijing, now that they have come to a conclusion … with the slightest impression that the United States and its partners will be intimidated by bellicose statements or by threats, Powell told the U.S. Asia-Pacific Council.

On Monday, the North Koreans issued a statement saying, “As we have already declared, we are successfully going forward to reprocess work more than 8,000 spent fuel rods at the final phase.”

Pyongyang is standing by its admission, and jacking up the rhetoric, saying that ‘war could break out any minute’ and that it needs its nuclear weapons as a ‘deterrent’.

“The Iraqi war launched by the U.S. despite the international community’s unanimous opposition teaches all the sovereign states the lesson that there should be only a strong physical deterrent force to protect the sovereignty of the country and the nation,” the North Korean Central News Agency said yesterday.

Assessment:

The North Koreans have been steadily escalating the tensions with a stream of accusations and provocations. Late last year, it admitted secretly conducting a nuclear-weapons program despite signed agreements to the contrary. Then it threw United Nations inspectors out of the country and said it would restart a nuclear reactor and reprocess spent fuel rods to add to its stockpile of weapons-grade material.

In March, four North Korean MiG warplanes intercepted a U.S. spy plane over international waters in one of the most serious military confrontations between the two countries in decades.

Pyongyang’s latest official statement said it plans to “put all people under arms and turn the whole country into a fortress,” urging North Korean soldiers to become “human bombs and fighters ready to blow up themselves” to fight the Americans.

War propaganda posters are plastered all over Pyongyang showing heroic North Korean soldiers bayoneting American soldiers, blowing up the US Capitol Building and shredding the Stars and Stripes.

What is Pyongyang’s game? Those who fondly imagine that “shock and awe” in Iraq has driven Kim Jong-il to sue for peace may be deluding themselves – and they have not been reading the Pyongyang press. There are signs that North Korea has drawn just the opposite conclusion from recent events.

Thus on 29 March, Rodong Sinmun, the daily of the ruling Korean Workers Party (KWP), said that North Korea “would have already met the same miserable fate as Iraq’s, had it accepted the demand raised by the imperialists for ‘nuclear inspection’ and disarmament.”

Warning that Pyongyang “will not make any slightest concession or compromise”, the paper pledged to increase defense capacity as the country s “number one lifeline”. As Kim Jong Il sees it, the lesson from Iraq is that letting inspectors in will not guarantee regime survival. Having a nuclear deterrent will.

Putting yourself in Kim Jong Il’s tiny little platform shoes for a second, what makes the most sense if the goal is the survival of a regime already labeled a member of the “Axis of Evil” — along with Saddam Hussein? Given what happened to Saddam, it is extremely unlikely that he will surrender his hole cards.

The Bible doesn’t have a lot to say specifically about this region in the last days apart from a cryptic reference in Revelation to the 200 million man army called the “kings of the east” — but only China has the population necessary to amass such an army.

Until a few years ago, the only nuclear state in Asia was China — whose nuclear arsenal is numbered in the dozens, rather than the tens of thousands like the USA or Russia. Then Pakistan developed the Islamic Bomb. Then India developed its own nuclear deterrent. Now we have the deeply paranoid and despotic regime of Kim Jong Il claiming that it is nuclear, and willing to either use or proliferate its weapons.

But while the Bible is fairly circumspect regarding the kings of the east in particular, the concept of a limited nuclear war is not precluded by Scripture.

The prophet Joel writes, “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.”

Psalms 11:6 predicts, “Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.”

Isaiah 34:9 says, “And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.”

Ezekiel 38:22 says, “And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.”

John describes the first of the trumpet judgements during the Tribulation: “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” (Revelation 8:7)

What makes these references noteworthy isn’t that they point to North Korea or indicate what will happen on the North Korean peninsula, because they don’t.

What makes them noteworthy is that they all describe the effects of a thermonuclear blast.

Ezekiel speaks of an ‘overflowing rain’. One of the byproducts of a nuclear explosion is nuclear rain formed by the tremendous amount of water that gets vaporized and then reconstitutes in the atmosphere. How did Ezekiel know that?

Or of the ‘great hailstones’ that are also a byproduct of nuclear war, or of the ‘brimstone’ created by the molten rock thrown into the air by a nuclear blast? How would Ezekiel know how to describe ANY kind of explosion, from a nuclear one to an M-80 firecracker from his perch in history, some 2500 years ago?

Or Isaiah’s reference to land of ‘burning pitch’ being created from ‘dust’ or Joel’s references to ‘blood, fire and pillars of smoke’, or the Psalmist’s references to raining ‘snares, fire and brimstone’?

None of this was even conceivable twenty centuries ago. It wasn’t possible even one century ago.

But in 1948, the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic test and kicked off the global nuclear arms race that logic dictates would inevitably result in “blood, fire and pillars of smoke’ somewhere, someday.

The fulfillment of these prophecies were never possible before this generation. More than that, the understanding of how they even COULD be possible was hidden from every generation of mankind except the one that witnessed the restoration of Israel, the recovery of Jerusalem, the development of a global economy, the development of a global government, at a period in history in which the world is embroiled in a great religious war.

Exactly at a time when the world is desperately seeking a global leader — one with a “look more stout than his fellows and a mouth speaking great things” to solve the multiplying global crises, ‘lest we be destroyed from the face of the earth’.

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:33-34)

SARS Closes Toronto; Canadian Officials Minimalize Danger

SARS Closes Toronto; Canadian Officials Minimalize Danger
Vol: 19 Issue: 24 Thursday, April 24, 2003

World Health officials warned travelers to avoid travel to Beijing AND to Toronto, Ontario for fear they will get the SARS virus and export it to new locations. Toronto officials angrily denounced the move by the CDC and WHO, calling it an ‘overreaction’ as it braces for the economic impact the advisory will have on the city of seven million.

WHO’s communicable disease chief said Toronto had not contained the disease. A major reason for WHO’s action, he said, is that a cluster of SARS cases among health workers in another country has been traced to the Canadian city in the last week. He would not say where the new cluster emerged.

There is no treatment for severe acute respiratory syndrome, which has symptoms similar to pneumonia. It has killed at least 250 people worldwide, out of more than 4,000 infected.

Canada has been the most affected area outside Asia, with 140 cases and 16 deaths as of today, all in the Toronto area. After the WHO advisory, dozens of countries, including Britain, France and Italy, advised their citizens to avoid Toronto.

Canadian officials have begun downplaying the severity of the disease, saying it is no more dangerous than a typical influenza epidemic. The Toronto Globe and Mail carried a column by Dr. Richard Schabas, who argues that SARS in Canada is winding down and that the epidemic had passed its peak. According to Schabas, “SARS is a nasty infection, but it’s not the next plague.”

On the other hand, the London Daily Record is reporting today that SARS IS the ‘next plague’ that could eclipse AIDS. It quotes a Dr Patrick Dickson saying, “It is worth remembering that AIDS has infected 80 million people so far over 15 to 20 years. . . This is a far more serious epidemic potentially than AIDS.”

Assessment:

So, what is the truth? Is SARS the next AIDS? Or it is just an over-rated flu bug? The answer varies, according to who you ask, and that by itself is revealing. If you ask the CDC, SARS is one scary superbug, scary enough to issue a travel advisory against a major North American city. If you ask the World Health Organization, SARS is a serious global health threat. And if you ask officials in Canada — particularly officials in Toronto, SARS is just a bit worse than the sniffles and not worth all the hubbub.

The CDC and WHO have no motive to minimalize SARS, but they have a major motive for containing it. That is what their job is, and if they fail, they will have to face the consequences.

On the other hand SARS has the potential to devastate not just Toronto’s economy, but the whole of Canada’s. Whom do we believe? The folks who are charged with preventing the spread of an epidemic, or the folks who are charged with preventing an economic catastrophe?

When it comes to the dangers posed by an epidemic disease, I’ll put my money on the doctors over the economists and politicians every time.

Health officials fear the virus is mutating, and as it does, it grows more deadly. The disease’s mortality rate has jumped in a week from just over three percent to just over six percent. SARS now has a higher mortality rate than that of the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. In 1918, the world-wide Spanish Flu outbreak killed between twenty and forty MILLION people.

SARS is just the latest in a series of mutating or emerging killer diseases. E. coli, for example, is a normal intestinal bacteria that ordinarily beneficial, suppressing harmful bacteria growth and synthesizing vitamins. A mutated strain, E. coli 0157:H7 recently emerged. It kills half the patients that it infects.

Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death from infectious disease until the introduction of antibiotics in the 1950’s and was all but wiped out in the 1960’s. New, antibiotic resistant strains of this ancient killer have emerged that now claims the lives of 3,000,000 people a year world-wide.

Also emerging is the penicillin-resistant Streptococcus Pneumoniae, now the leading cause of death among children, the elderly and people in poor health. Cryptosporidium parvum is another common and beneficial parasite gone mad, causing Cryptosporidiosis, for which there is no treatment and can cause dehydration and death.

The Hepatitis C virus was discovered in 1988. Almost 2 percent of the population is infected by Hepatitus C, which kills as many as ten thousand Americans every year. And on it goes. This is nothing close to a full list of emerging killers. There is the flesh-eating disease, new STD’s so terrible I won’t name them, and new threats emerging all the time.

When He was asked of the signs of His return, Jesus spoke of wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and ‘pestilences’ in divers places. (Matthew 24:6-7)

‘Pestilence’ according to the dictionary, means deadly, infectious disease. But Jesus also noted these events, wars, famines, etc., would be like ‘the beginnings of sorrows’ — some Bible versions accurately render it ‘birth pangs’

This was one of the more confusing signs of the last days until not too long ago. Modern medicine had all but conquered most epidemic killers by the 1970’s. Even the feared smallpox plague was wiped from existence. As previously noted, tuberculosis became treatable with antibiotics. Polio disappeared. Advancing genetic science would seem to hold the promise of a world free of disease.

But wait. Jesus said that one generation, somewhere in time, would see ALL the signs. Wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilence, and that, as we approached the end of the age, they would accelerate in both frequency and intensity, like birth pangs.

In the first three-quarters of the 20th century, medical breakthroughs have all but erased the scourge of plague from the human condition. Until the time appointed — the last days.

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, THIS generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (Matthew 24:33-34)