The Weekend Web


The Weekend Web

Whispers of war; racial tension in Britain; plus, forget Cash for Clunkers, get a free AK-47.

United States Vice President Joseph Biden dangled the red cape before Russia recently, practically daring the Kremlin to charge. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last month, Mr. Biden said that Russia is confronting some “very difficult, calculated decisions.”

“They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they’re in a situation where the world is changing before them and they’re clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable,” he said, before noting that these things should not be said publicly.

The vice president is right about Russia’s pressing domestic challenges. But its military might and aggressive foreign policy has experienced quite a revival in recent years. And with the window of opportunity closing before some of these crippling domestic problems set is, the Kremlin’s time to act is now.

That’s why the whispers that Russia is up to something in Georgia are especially noteworthy. Tension along the Georgian-South Ossetian border is rising, with mortar attacks being reported for the first time since the war last year. The timing of these rising tensions is interesting too: Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, and today is the 10-year anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s ascendancy to power in Russia.

Vladimir Socor, writing in the Eurasian Daily Monitor, reports that Russian and Ossetian troops are moving their border checkpoints so that they slowly encroach upon more Georgian territory. Also, Vladislav Surkov, one of the most powerful men in Russia, has been spending quite a lot of time in South Ossetia. What might he be up to?

Reporting on the rumblings emanating from the region and Russia’s bold foreign policy, Stratfor wrote on Thursday,

War is not a process that Russia would choose carelessly, even if it would be a very, very easy war to win. What simply doesn’t fit in current circumstances is the boldness with which the Russians are acting. They have all but stated that war is imminent, they are backing the Iranians to the hilt, sending top Kremlin strategists to the region to coordinate with allies, and have even resumed nuclear submarine patrols off the East Coast of the United States. The Russians have a well-earned reputation for being far more circumspect than this in the shell game that is international relations. It is almost as if all of this is simply noise designed to keep the Americans off balance while something else, something no one is watching, is quietly put into play.

Stratfor doesn’t have a good answer for this: “All we can say is that the Russians are up to something—and if it is not a war, it is something big enough that a war would seem to make a good distraction. Now that bears some watching.”


Another thing to be watching is how Germany will respond to Russia’s belligerent, even war-mongering, actions.

If you haven’t already, now might be a good time to review Gerald Flurry’s article “The Armies of Armageddon,” which explained the biblical significance of Russia’s invasion of Georgia last fall, and Germany’s role in that history-altering event.

Hezbollah’s Back

The Kremlin is not the only group seemingly preparing for war.

Hezbollah’s arsenal is much bigger and deadlier today than it was during the Second Lebanon War three years ago, say Israeli, United Nations and Hezbollah officials. The Iranian-created and -sponsored terrorist organization has up to 40,000 rockets, and is training fighters to use ground-to-ground missiles that can reach as far as Tel Aviv.

Last month, Hezbollah accidentally detonated a huge ammunition bunker 12 miles from the Israeli border. The head of the UN peacekeeping mission said the explosion showed a serious violation of UN Resolution 1701 that banned Hezbollah from stockpiling weapons. Also in July, according to an Italian newspaper, a deadly plane crash in Iran was caused by explosive devices being delivered from Iran to Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s growing firepower in southern Lebanon is impacting Israel’s military maneuvers. Its planes now fly higher and its ships stay farther out at sea for fear of becoming easier targets for longer-range missiles.

Brig.-Gen. Alon Friedman, the deputy head of the Israeli Northern Command, told the Times recently that the Israel-Lebanon border could “explode at any minute.”

In Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, Hezbollah is also working behind the scenes to cement itself an influential role in Lebanese politics. Last week, Walid Jumblatt, leader of the influential Druze group the Progressive Socialist Party, threatened to quit the majority coalition, which may open the door for Hezbollah to woo the Druze leader.

Jumblatt recently backed away from his traditional hostility toward Syria, telling a Tunisian newspaper: “I intend to fix my relationship with Damascus my own way. Looking back, I think I committed the sin of voicing too many anti-Syrian slogans.” Such remarks are music to the ears of Hezbollah.

Jumblatt is a canny politician. “He has always represented a weathervane of regional politics,” said Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, author of the forthcoming book The Iran Connection: The Alliance with Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. It is most likely that Jumblatt is moving away from Lebanon’s pro-Western forces in favor of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah because he senses momentum in the region swinging in the direction of the latter groups.

Whether or not Jumblatt aligns himself with Hezbollah, bolstering the terrorist organization’s political standing in Beirut, one thing is for sure: Militarily, Hezbollah is firmly rooted in southern Lebanon, and is ready to strike Israel at any moment.

Watch Iran closely. That is where Hezbollah’s order to strike Israel will come from.

Fatah and the Next Intifada

These are disquieting days for Israel. Not only is Hezbollah entrenched in southern Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza, but also Fatah, the “moderate” Palestinian political organization based in the West Bank, appears to be on a path that can only end in conflict with the Jewish state.

If anything, last week’s general assembly proved Fatah isn’t the least bit interested in making peace with Israel. Even before the Palestinian “moderates” convened in Bethlehem, as we wrote last week, Fatah reaffirmed its rejection of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. News also leaked of Fatah’s desire to create a strategic dialogue with Iran.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas opened the conference last Tuesday by praising the “martyrs” who had previously murdered Israeli civilians. Later that day, former pa Prime Minister Abu Alaa singled out Khaled Abu-Usbah as a “hero” who worked alongside the “martyr” Dalal Mughrabi. The mention of both names elicited a spirited applause from the delegates.

Mughrabi and Abu-Usbah hijacked a bus in 1978 and ended up murdering 37 Israeli civilians—12 of them children.

On the third day of the congress, the delegates unanimously concluded that Israel was behind the death of former pa President Yasser Arafat, who died in a French hospital in 2004.

Then, yesterday, Fatah’s general assembly adopted another resolution saying Jerusalem is an “integral part of the Palestinian homeland” and that Fatah would continue to make “sacrifices” until Jerusalem “returns to the Palestinians void of settlers and settlements.”

Fatah, the “moderate” wing of Palestinian politics (Hamas banned their representatives from attending the assembly), is stopping just short of openly calling for the next intifada.

Regarding the West’s pressure on Israel to negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinians, a Jerusalem Post columnist made an important point yesterday:

Any Western leader who solicits Israel’s support for a Palestinian state will need to prove that our neighbors have been transformed. Radically. We would be mad if we didn’t demand that.But there is no such evidence.Quite the contrary. Mahmoud Abbas, “moderate” darling of the West, doesn’t hide his enduring esteem for terrorism.

That truth was obvious last week. However, we don’t expect Western leaders to adjust their policy toward Fatah. They’ve been ignoring that truth for years.

Role Reversals Hurting Marriages

Marriages are suffering today because marital roles have reversed, Britain’s Telegraph observed last Thursday in a piece that couldn’t have been well received within feminist circles.

“Many of us are so focused, decisive and assertive, that the only role left for our husbands is one where they comply and let us take charge—traditionally feminine traits,” said Francine Kaye, who is known as “The Divorce Doctor,” according to the article. “But the irony is, we don’t actually want men like that, and we end up eventually resenting them for not being more dominant and fearless.”

“The unfashionable truth is that men and women are different,” she said. “Male and female employees might be interchangeable in the office, but at home, couples—and women in particular—need to acknowledge, respect and indeed celebrate their differences, otherwise men feel sidelined and retreat into themselves.”

Kaye found that among many couples, the traditional masculine and feminine roles were switched. The Telegraph reported:

When questions are asked such as: “Who books the holidays? Who pays the bills? Who calls a tradesman when something breaks down?” The answer is invariably the woman. The same generally goes for “Who is more aspirational? Who is more decisive? Who is more powerful in the relationship?”

Modern husbands are more likely to be nurturing than driven, to accommodate rather than dominate, and generally to take a back seat, preferring to defer to their wife rather than deal with any sort of conflict.

The solution: “It’s not a case of being all helpless and girlie, but of being more feminine. If you behave more like a woman, your partner will act more like a man,” concluded Kaye.

Kaye’s solution is nothing new—it’s what the Bible has said all along. For much more on the proper, God-ordained roles for men and women in marriage, and how to build a fabulously happy marriage and family, request our free book The Missing Dimension in Sex.

Racial Tension Rises—in Britain

Growing racial tension is not just afflicting the United States. British police arrested 33 people in Birmingham yesterday, after a clash between Unite Against Fascism and a right-wing group transformed the city into a war zone. The Daily Mail reports,

Gary Nichols watched the disturbances from his city canter flat and said he was unable to go outside for about 2½ hours. He told the bbc: “It started off with a group of white guys who were chanting, ‘England, England.’ I thought they were just football fans, but then a larger group of black and Asian people turned up and it all kicked off.”You had people burning the Union flag. People were being kicked—some of them weren’t anything to do with the protests. It all seemed to be very systematic—groups were arriving in cars and getting involved in the violence.”

A lot of attention has been given to the potential for racial conflict in America recently. But let’s not forget Britain, where liberal immigration laws, adoration for multiculturalism and close living quarters has made the country ripe for racial conflict.

For more about why the Bible predicts race wars will become endemic in both America and Britain, read Chapter 4 of Gerald Flurry’s book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.

Elsewhere on the Web

If you think the budget deficit and national debt are bad, you haven’t seen anything yet, say Alan Auerbach, an economist at the University of California–Berkeley, and William Gale, vice president of the Brookings Institution. They write on that even if the projections of the Obama administration are correct and the economy recovers, the debt-to-gdp ratio will hit 82 percent by 2019, its highest level since just after World War ii. But, they point out, things are unlikely to go as well as President Obama hopes. “The economy has already performed worse than was assumed in the budget projections,” they say, “and the projections are based on heroically optimistic assumptions about the political discipline Congress will impose on itself.” Congressional Budget Office data shows that the U.S. budget deficit reached $1.3 trillion for this fiscal year in July—close to $800 billion greater than the same period last fiscal year. Outlays rose by 21 percent, and revenues fell by more than 17 percent.

The International Monetary Fund says that the total cost of cleaning up the global financial crisis so far has been $11.85 trillion. That’s one fifth of the world’s yearly economic output. If the money had been distributed as a handout to every inhabitant on the planet, every man, woman and child would have received almost $3,000.

In yet another indication of Britain’s capitulation to radical Islam, England welcomed Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, the chief cleric at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, to preach August 4 at the East London Mosque. The “Saudi hate sheik,” as Steve Emerson of Newsmax describes him, has echoed Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda. In a 2002 sermon, al-Sudais said Jews are “the worst of mankind. … [Allah] turned some of them to monkeys and pigs.” Human rights advocate Peter Tatchell is suspicious of the reasons for the admittance of al-Sudais. “The East London mosque received [$1 million] from the Saudis towards its new London Muslim Center. The mosque’s links to Saudi Arabia go back many years, according to the bbc,” he notes. “I don’t understand why the home secretary is allowing al-Sudais into Britain, given that similar hate preachers have been banned. Is it because of the close business links between the British and Saudi establishments?” The cleric’s August 4 sermon in London drew an overflow crowd to the 7,000-capacity mosque.

Daniel Pipes makes an interesting observation on his blog: that the last 200 years of history contain a number of examples of Europeans who defeated Muslims militarily and then claimed that their real intent was to protect and liberate. Napoleon, entering Alexandria in 1798, said, “I have come to restore your rights …. I respect God, his prophet, and the Koran.” Mussolini said in Italian-ruled Libya in 1937, “Italy will always be the friend and protector of Islam throughout the world.” Pipes alludes to the parallels with America’s forays into Muslim countries today (he wryly notes that the Muslims were never actually convinced that the foreigners had benign intentions). It’s worth noting, however, that we are seeing a repetition of this cycle today in Europe. The Continent is forging ties with Muslim peoples that biblical prophecy tells us it is actually going to end up conquering.

Victor Davis Hanson on President Obama’s promise of being “post-racial”: “[E]ver so slowly the public is starting to become wary (note the reaction in the polls to Gates-gate), that their post-racial president is, in fact, rather angry and, more importantly, for most of his life has benefited by aligning himself with those forces of racial anger. Note also that Obama’s first impulse, not his second, or third, was to damn the police as acting ‘stupidly’ as culpable racial profilers. … [W]e learn several things from the Gates matter: 1) Even on matters trite and insignificant Obama weighs in spontaneously in a fashion that reflects his racialist world view; 2) such slurs are at odds with public opinion and require remediation [this is referring to the ‘beer summit’]; 3) Obama never apologizes for his slander (Ahmadinejad or the EU, not the Cambridge police department, receives presidential apologies). If anything, the last racial incident only makes the next one more likely ….”

“A senior Israeli diplomat said that his government’s row with the White House over Jewish settlements in the West Bank was causing strategic damage to the country’s relationship with the United States,” reported the Telegraph Friday. “Nowadays, there is a sense in the United States that Obama is being forced to deal with obduracy from the governments of Iran, North Korea and Israel,” the diplomat wrote in the leaked memo. America’s relationship with Israel is surely in a debilitated state when Washington in effect lumps it together with Iran and North Korea. The Trumpet has forecast the breaking of the bond between America and Israel for years. To learn more, read “The End of the U.S.-Israeli Alliance.”

And Finally …

We recently wrote about the auto dealership giving away AK-47s with each car purchase (see video here). Well, apparently the owner has had to end his offer early because of too much business.

And you thought Cash for Clunkers was successful.