"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
Learn What This Means
Tony Campolo related a party that took place in Hawaii. He had arrived in Honolulu late at night, ravenously hungry. At 3:30 in the morning, everything was closed except a side street café--"one of those sleazy places that deserves the name 'greasy spoon.'" Not wanting to touch the filthy menu, he ordered a cup of coffee and a donut.
The solitude of the early morning was broken as the door of the diner swung open, and, much to his discomfort, in marched eight or nine provocatively dressed and boisterous prostitutes.
It was a small place and their talk was loud and crude. Feeling completely out of place and just about to make his getaway, he was suddenly stopped in his tracks when he overheard the woman sitting beside him say, "Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm going to be thirty-nine."
Her "friend" responded in a nasty tone, "So what do you want from me? A birthday party? What do you want? Ya want me to get you a cake and sing 'Happy Birthday'?"
"Come on!" said the woman sitting next to Tony. "Why do you have to be so mean? I was just telling you, that's all. Why do you have to put me down? I don't want anything from you. I mean, why should you give me a birthday party? I've never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?"
That conversation changed Tony's plans. Waiting until the women were gone, he inquired of the man behind the counter whether the women came in every night.
"Yeah!" he answered.
"The one that was sitting right next to me, does she come here every night?"
"Yeah!" he said. "That's Agnes. Yeah, she comes in here every night. Why d'ya wanna know?"
"Because I heard her say that tomorrow is her birthday. What do you think about us throwing a birthday party for her--right here--tomorrow night?"
A smile slowly crossed the owner's chubby face and he answered enthusiastically. "That's great! I like it! That's a great idea!" "Hey! Come out here!" he shouted to his wife, who was cooking in the back room. "This guy's got a great idea. Tomorrow's Agnes's birthday. This guy wants us to go in with him and throw a birthday party for her right here tomorrow night!"
His wife, obviously happy about the idea, exclaimed, "That's wonderful! You know Agnes is one of those people who is really nice and kind, but nobody ever does anything nice for her!"
"Look," I told them, "if it's okay with you, I'll get back here tomorrow morning about 2:30 and decorate the place. I'll even get a birthday cake!"
"No way," said Harry. "The birthday cake's my thing. I'll make the cake."
At 2:30 the next morning Tony was back at the diner. He had picked up some crepe paper decorations at the store and had made a sign out of big pieces of cardboard that read, "Happy Birthday, Agnes!" When the diner was decorated from one end to the other, it really looked good.
Word must have gotten out, because by 3:15 it seemed like every prostitute in Honolulu was in the place. It was wall-to-wall prostitutes ... and Tony!
At 3:30 on the dot, the door of the diner swung open and in came Agnes and her friend. Tony had everybody ready. "Happy Birthday!" they all screamed in unison!
Never had anyone been so flabbergasted ... so stunned ... so shaken. Her mouth fell open. Her legs seemed to buckle a bit. Her friend grabbed her arm to steady her. As she was led to one of the stools along the counter, everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to her. The fight to hold herself together was lost when the birthday cake with all the candles was carried out, and Agnes broke down in huge sobs. Finally composing herself, she looked down at the cake and slowly and softly said, "Look, Harry, is it all right with you if I ... I mean is it okay if I kind of ... what I want to ask you is ... is it okay if I keep the cake a little while? I mean is it all right if we don't eat it right away?"
Harry shrugged and answered, "Sure! It's okay. If you want to keep the cake, keep the cake. Take it home if you want to."
"Can I?" she asked. Then looking at Tony she said, "I live just down the street a couple of doors. I want to take the cake home and show it to my mother, okay? I'll be right back. Honest!"
Getting off the stool and picking up the cake like it was life's dearest treasure, she walked slowly toward the door. As they all stood there motionless, she left.
When the door closed, there was a stunned silence in the place. Not knowing what else to do, Tony broke the silence by saying, "What do you say we pray?"
Tony prayed for Agnes. He prayed for her salvation. He prayed that her life would be changed and that God would be good to her. He prayed for the salvation of the others. When he finished, Harry leaned over the counter, and said, "Hey! You never told me you were a preacher. What kind of church do you belong to?"
In one of those moments when just the right words came, he answered, "I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for whores at 3:30 in the morning."
Harry paused a moment, then he answered, "No you don't. There's no church like that. If there was, I'd join it. I'd join a church like that!"
Tony summed up his story this way. "Wouldn't we all? Wouldn't we all love to join a church that throws birthday parties for whores at 3:30 in the morning? Well, that's the kind of church Jesus came to create. He doesn't know where we got the other one that's so prim and proper. But anybody who reads the New Testament will discover a Jesus who loved to party with whores and with all kinds of left-out people. The publicans and sinners loved Him because He partied with them. The lepers of society found in Him someone who would eat and drink with them. And while the solemnly pious could not relate to what He was about, those lonely people who usually didn't get invited to parties took to Him with excitement: Our Jesus was and is the Lord of the party."
Tony added as an afterthought, "Now it seems more than strange for a sociologist to be leading a prayer meeting with a bunch of prostitutes in a diner in Honolulu at three-thirty in the morning. But then it just felt like the right thing to do." (Tony Campolo)
It's funny how when people lose their innocence they don't feel they are as close to the Lord as before. That's because they don't really realise what God's righteousness is. Their idea of righteousness is so different from God's. When you feel so righteous and good, it's because you're self righteous and not closer to God, but closer to your self! It's a perverted idea of "sinless self-perfection."
David was far more righteous after he became a great sinner--than he was when he was so haughty and self-righteous!
The world equates goodness with godliness, by which they mean self-righteous perfection. Sinfulness they equate with Devilishness. But the Lord said the sinner was closer to God than the so called sinless self-righteous perfectionist!--The drunks, harlots and drug addicts are closer to God, for God's way up is down.
You can never be too bad for Jesus, only too good!
That self-righteousness is a works trip! It's a deceit of the Devil that you were closer to God when you were pure and ignorant! The greatest men in the bible were guys that made terrible mistakes and realised they were sinners, that they needed God.
The devil's idea of righteousness is totally the opposite of God's idea. The Devil's idea of righteousness is the self righteous, holier-than-thou hypocrite--the supposedly sinless perfectionist! Whereas God's idea of righteousness is the pitiful, hopeless, lost, humble, loving, sinful sinner who knows he needs God! Those He came to save! He came not to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners!
So God's idea of goodness is Godliness--a sinner who knows he needs God and depends on Him for Salvation--not the Devil's self-righteous, hypocritical Pharisees who think they can save themselves by their own goodness! The self-righteous think they don't need His help, and are lost!
God's way up is down to the defeat of self and self-righteousness!--Up to the victory of the cross and death to self for others! David Berg (Benefits of Backsliding!, The 1972)
Gadhafi’s life and death
By Kim Gamel, Lee Keath
Oct. 20, 2011
TRIPOLI, Libya—During nearly 42 years in power in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi was one of the world’s most eccentric dictators, so mercurial that he was both condemned and courted by the West, until he was finally toppled by his own people.
The modern Arab world’s longest-ruling figure, Libya’s “Brother Leader” displayed striking contrasts. He was a sponsor of terrorism whose regime was blamed for blowing up two passenger jets, who then helped the U.S. in the war on terror. He was an Arab nationalist who mocked Arab rulers. In the crowning paradox, he preached a “revolutionary” utopia of people power but ran a one-man dictatorship that fueled the revolution against him.
His death on Thursday at age 69—confirmed by Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril—came as Libyan fighters defeated Gadhafi’s last holdouts in his hometown of Sirte, the last major site of resistance in the country.
Their final declaration of victory came weeks after Gadhafi was swept from power by rebels who drove triumphantly into the capital of Tripoli on Aug. 21, capping a six-month civil war.
Gadhafi leaves behind an oil-rich nation of 6.5 million traumatized by a rule that drained it of institutions while the ship of state was directed by the whims of one man and his family. Notorious for his extravagant outfits—ranging from white suits and sunglasses to military uniforms with frilled epaulets to brilliantly colored robes decorated with the map of Africa—he styled himself as a combination Bedouin chief and philosopher king.
He reveled in infuriating leaders, whether in the West or the Middle East. U.S. President Ronald Reagan, after the 1986 bombing that killed U.S. servicemen in Berlin was blamed on Libya, branded him a “mad dog.” Former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who fought a border war with Libya in the 1970s, wrote in his diary that Gadhafi was “mentally sick” and “needs treatment.”
Behind the flamboyance and showmanship, associates say Gadhafi was meticulous in managing the levers of power. He intervened in decisions large and small and constantly met personally with tribal leaders and military officers whose support he maintained through lucrative posts.
The ultimate secret of his longevity lay in the vast oil reserves under his North African desert nation and in his capacity for drastic changes of course when necessary.
The most spectacular U-turn came in late 2003. After years of denial, Libya acknowledged responsibility—though in a Gadhafi-esque twist of logic, not guilt—for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people. He agreed to pay up to $10 million to relatives of each victim.
He also announced that Libya would dismantle its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs under international supervision.
The rewards came fast. Within months, the U.S. lifted economic sanctions and resumed diplomatic ties. The European Union hosted Gadhafi in Brussels. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2008 became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the country in more than 50 years. Tony Blair, as British prime minister, visited him in Tripoli.
International oil companies rushed to invest in Libya’s fields. Documents uncovered after Gadhafi’s fall revealed close cooperation between his intelligence services and the CIA in pursuing terror suspects after the 9/11 attacks, even before the U.S. lifted its designation of Libya as a sponsor of terror in 2006.
Still, Gadhafi’s ways did not change. After Swiss police had the temerity to briefly arrest his son Hannibal for allegedly beating up two servants in a Geneva luxury hotel in 2008, Gadhafi’s regime arrested two Swiss nationals and raked Switzerland over the coals, extracting an apology and compensation before finally releasing the men nearly two years later. European countries, eagerly building economic ties with Libya, did little to back up Switzerland in the dispute.
But Gadhafi became an instant pariah once more when he began a brutal crackdown on the February uprising in his country that grew out of the “Arab Spring” of popular revolts across the region. The U.N. authorized a no-fly zone for Libya in March, and NATO launched a campaign of airstrikes against his military forces.
“I am a fighter, a revolutionary from tents. … I will die as a martyr at the end,” he proclaimed in one of his last televised speeches during the uprising, pounding the lectern near a sculpture of a golden fist crushing a U.S. warplane.
Gadhafi was born in 1942 in the central Libyan desert near Sirte, the son of a Bedouin father who was once jailed for opposing Libya’s Italian colonialists. The young Gadhafi seemed to inherit that rebellious nature, being expelled from high school for leading a demonstration, and disciplined while in the army for organizing revolutionary cells.
In 1969, as a mere 27-year-old captain, he emerged as leader of a group of officers who overthrew the monarchy of King Idris. A handsome, dashing figure in uniform and sunglasses, Gadhafi took undisputed power and became a symbol of anti-Western defiance in a Third World recently liberated from its European colonial rulers.
During the 1970s, Gadhafi proceeded to transform the nation. A U.S. air base was closed. Some 20,000 Italians were expelled in retaliation for the 1911-41 occupation. Businesses were nationalized.
In 1975 he published the “Green Book,” his political manifesto that laid out what he called the “Third International Theory” of government and society. He declared Libya to be a “Jamahiriya”—an Arabic neologism he created meaning roughly “republic of the masses.”
Everyone rules, it declared, calling representative democracy a form of tyranny, and Libyans were organized into “people’s committees” that went all the way up to a “People’s Congress,” a sort of parliament.
In the end, rule by all meant rule by none except Gadhafi, who elevated himself to colonel and declared himself “Brother Leader.”
“He aspired to create an ideal state,” said North African analyst Saad Djebbar of Cambridge University. “He ended up without any components of a normal state. The ‘people’s power’ was the most useless system in the world.”
Throughout his rule, he was a showman who would stop at nothing to make his point.
His appearances at Arab League summits were an annual cause of cringing among fellow Arab rulers. At one, he argued vehemently with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, winning the monarch’s eternal hatred. At another, Gadhafi smoked cigars on the conference hall floor during speeches to show his contempt.
In a 2009 address at the United Nations, he rambled on about jet lag, then tore up a copy of the U.N. charter, saying the Security Council “should be called the terrorism council.”
On state trips, he would insist on setting up a tent to stay in. He sported a personal escort of female guards—which he once explained by saying: “There are no men in the Arab world.”
“At night, Moammar dreams; by day, he implements,” Libyans would say, referring to the bizarre rules Gadhafi would randomly impose on the country, like demanding all storefront doors be painted green, the signature color of his regime. Or like complaining that Libyans were going abroad for medical treatment and deciding it was because of a lack of Libyan doctors—so he ordered Tripoli’s main medical school to take 2,000 new students regardless of qualifications, well beyond its 150-student capacity.
He even renamed the months, calling the cold month of January “Ayn al-Nar,” Arabic for “Where is the Fire.”
In the past decade, power was increasingly concentrated with his eight biological children, who snapped up elite military posts or lucrative business positions.
Son Seif al-Islam at one time seemed to be a Western-leaning reformer but threw in his lot with his father after the uprising began. Muatassim, who was killed Thursday, led a military unit in a crackdown on protesters.
Two other sons, Saif al-Arab, was killed earlier during the uprising, and another, Khamis, was believed killed.
His only daughter, Aisha, became a lawyer and helped in the defense of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s toppled dictator, in the trial that led to his hanging.
Gadhafi did spend oil revenue on building schools, hospitals, irrigation and housing on a scale his Mediterranean nation had never seen.
“He did really bring Libya from being one of the most backward and poorest countries in Africa to becoming an oil-rich state with an elaborate infrastructure and with reasonable access by the Libyan population to the essential services they required,” said George Joffe of Cambridge University.
Still, about a third of Libya’s people remain in poverty. Gadhafi showered benefits on parts of the country, such as Tripoli. Meanwhile, eastern Libya, ultimately the source of February’s rebellion, was allowed to atrophy.
Libya: Gaddafi 'was killed with 9mm pistol in Sirte'
An NTC fighter claims to have witnessed the capture of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, after revolutionary forces gained control of the deposed dictator's hometown of Sirte.
20 Oct 2011
Adel Samir, from the Qabra Brigade, said he was present when Gaddafi was shot.
"We get it in leader's places, we catch him there and we shot him, somebody shot him by gun, 9mm.
"Here, here, shot here in here body (points to stomach) like this," he said.
Standing in front of a truck with a crowd of congratulatory comrades, he said that he struck the former dictator with his shoe, a grave insult in the Arab world.
National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta said that Muammar Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which Nato warplanes attacked.
Mahmoud Jibril, the Prime Minister of Libya, confirmed that Gaddafi had been killed.
Welcome to "Democracy": Gaddafi Summarily Executed Without Trial
Libyans get a taste of new found "freedoms" bestowed by NATO and Al-Qaeda rebels
Paul Joseph Watson -
Friday, October 21, 2011
The hard fought "freedoms" that are apparently about to bestowed on Libyans after the NATO-backed overthrow of the Gaddafi regime were in full evidence yesterday when NTC fighters captured Gaddafi alive before summarily executing him with a bullet through the head. Aware of how bad this looked, the interim NTC Prime Minister hastily put out a cover story claiming Gaddafi had died in crossfire.
(Warning: Some may find this video disturbing.)
The video above clearly shows that Gaddafi is dazed but very much alive as he is captured by Al-Qaeda-backed rebel forces who scream "Allah Akbar" as they pull him up onto a truck.
Later footage shows Gaddafi's dead body being dragged through the streets. What happened in between the two videos has provoked several different and very contradictory explanations.
"According to an official version of events by the interim prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, the vehicle transporting Gaddafi to hospital was "caught in crossfire" as NTC and pro-Gaddafi forces fought further," reports the Guardian.
However, this is contradicted by another NTC official who stated, "They (NTC fighters) beat him very harshly, and then they killed him. This is a war."
Indeed, forensic experts who later examined high quality images of Gaddafi's body indicated that he appeared to have been shot in the head at close range, not from crossfire a distance away.
Amnesty International has called for a full international investigation to determine the exact circumstances of Gaddafi's death, but the very world leaders who backed NATO's "humanitarian" intervention to bring "democracy" to the country, the likes of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and David Cameron, don't seem to be too concerned that the very first act of Libya's liberators was to summarily execute a man without trial - they were too busy gloating.
The NTC has patently decided to invent a fairytale about Gaddafi being killed in crossfire, going so far as to suggest that his own loyalists could have fired the fatal bullet, when all the available evidence clearly indicates that Gaddafi was shot like a dog in the street by the crazed rebels, who over the past 24 hours have been busy looting Sirte, and who are now set to seize power in Libya.
While the establishment western media hailed Gaddafi's death as a watershed for the rebirth of freedom in Libya, gleefully broadcasting macabre images of his dead corpse with wanton abandon, the very first act of the victorious rebels was to prove to the world that they are nothing more than a gang of terrorists who couldn't care less about the very principles that underpin "democracy" or "freedom" - innocent until proven guilty and the right to a fair trial.
Of course, we know why NATO and their NTC foot soldiers were less than enthusiastic about affording Gaddafi a UN war crimes trial, because like Slobodan Milosevic, Gaddafi would have used it to highlight NATO's support for Al-Qaeda terrorists who killed U.S. troops along with a myriad of other embarrassing revelations.
Even if you believe Gaddafi was a tyrant and deserved to die, free and civilized societies do not allow men to be rounded up and shot like vermin. Nazis who oversaw the murders of millions of concentration camp victims were treated better.
Taking the moral high ground and treating even the rights of dictators with dignity and respect is what differentiates modern civilized nations from arcane, medieval autocracies, which thanks to NATO's love bombs, is precisely what Libya will quickly begin to resemble.
Analysis - Death of Libya's Gaddafi avoids awkward trial
Oct 20, 2011
By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent
LONDON (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi's apparent death from wounds received during the fall of Sirte means a long and complex trial that could have divided Libya and embarrassed Western governments and oil firms will be avoided.
A senior National Transitional Council (TNC) military official said the former Libyan leader died after capture having earlier been injured in a NATO airstrike on a convoy fleeing the town. Earlier reports and rumours of his capture had sparked celebrations across Libya and helped oil prices lower.
Had he been taken alive, there would have been potentially acrimonious debate over whether he should be tried in Libya or extradited to the International Criminal Court, which issued a warrant for his arrest along with his oldest son and spy chief earlier this year.
Any trial might have given the flamboyant, often idiosyncratic Gaddafi a podium from which to harang both Libya's new rulers and Western powers, as well as potentially try to embarrass them on issues they would rather forget. As Libya was nudged back from international isolation in the last decade, international oil companies signed deals worth billions.
But worse still for the transitional government and NATO, analysts say, would have been for Gaddafi to have remained at large, perhaps simply disappearing into the Sahara to form new militias and destabilise Libya and its neighbours.
"It is hugely symbolically important," Alan Fraser, Middle East analyst for risk consultancy AKE, said of the killing.
"It helps the NTC move on. If Gaddafi has been killed instead of captured, that means they will also avoid a long drawnout trial that could have been very divisive and revealed awkward secrets."
Human rights groups had long said it was important for the Libyan leader to be held to account and any local trial would have offered Libya's new government a chance to showcase its improved accountability.
But critics complained many international and locally organised warcrimes trials can sometimes turn into long, drawnout legalistic events or even drift towards becoming show trials. Former leaders such as Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic often either refused to acknowledge their jurisdiction or use them to berate their new captors.
The ousted leader might well have used the opportunity to open old political wounds and inflict as much new political damage as he could.
"Colonel Gaddafi's death is a mixed event for the new Libyan authorities," said Daniel Korski, senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and a long-term supporter of NATO intervention.
"They avoid a drawn-out judicial drama a la Slobodan Milosevic, which could have rallied people in the ex-dictator's support, but his death also robs the new Libyan government of the opportunity of showing themselves better than he was.... His death, in such violent circumstances, also risks creating a martyr figure out of a man whose deeds in life would never have merited such acclaim."
International media would have jumped on any juicy details on how Western states wooed Gaddafi, helped bank his billions and rebuild his oil industry. Many large firms struck deals with Tripoli including Italy's ENI, France's Total, Britain's BP and others.
That risk has not entirely gone away. Some of Gaddafi's sons may still be at large and could potentially stand trial themselves.
TOO MUCH KILLING?
If Libya's NTC had wanted to try Gaddafi locally, they would have had to swiftly build an entire legal system within which to do so. Gaddafi's Libya had little in the way of credible legal infrastructure and there might have been serious questions over the legitimacy of any process.
With Osama bin Laden killed in a U.S. special forces raid earlier this year and al Qaeda and Taliban leaders also increasingly targeted through drone strikes, some worry assassination or "accidental" killing of foes -- rather than messy trials or imprisonment in places like Guantanamo Bay -- has become an all too attractive option.
"To say that it is better for everyone that he be killed rather than captured is to say that the legal approach has disadvantages, and that is to surrender to cynicism," said Rosemary Hollis, head of the Middle East studies program at London's City University. "It's hard to see that as a good thing. In Gaddafi's case, on previous form had he been put on trial he would simply have rambled endlessly and would have ended up undermining his own credibility."
With his death, she said, there was a risk the death might further incense some of his more diehard supporters and other radicals, particularly if it emerged he was killed by the NATO strike or executed after capture. Other analysts warn Gaddafi's death may be far from the end of Libya's troubles.
"If you look at Iraq, Saddam Hussein's capture did not stop the insurgency," says Anthony Skinner, Middle East director of risk consultancy Maplecroft. "They are both very different countries, but Libya also has ethnic divisions and whatever happens there are a lot of issues to solve."
Report: Qaddafi Corpse to Be Dropped into the Sea
The body of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi will be dropped in the Mediterranean Sea, according to a Thursday evening report by the Cable News Network. The same strategy was followed in the case of Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama Bin-Laden to avoid making his gravesite a pilgrimage site.
Qaddafi was lynched by rebels, Thursday, following fighting in Qaddafi's home town of Sirte. His sons Saif Al-Islam and Mutassim suffered similar fates.
(Hillary Clinton's reaction upon hearing of Gaddafi's death.)
(“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth.” Proverbs 24:17)
Gaddafi death hailed by David Cameron
20 October 2011
The death of toppled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was today hailed by Prime Minister David Cameron as a step towards a "strong and democratic future" for the north African country.
Gaddafi died this morning as rebel troops overran the final pockets of fighters loyal to the former regime in his home-town of Sirte.
His death was announced by the Prime Minister of the country's National Transitional Council government Mahmoud Jibril, who told a press conference in capital Tripoli: "We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed."
Speaking in Downing Street moments after Mr Jibril officially confirmed the dictator's death, Mr Cameron said he was "proud" of the role Britain played in Nato airstrikes to protect Libyan civilians after the uprising against Gaddafi's rule began in February.
The Truth Seeker
US Begins Huge Military Maneuvers Aimed at Iran
By Paul Joseph Watson on October 17, 2011
The United States will this week commence huge military maneuvers aimed at Iran, with a massive air fleet patrolling middle eastern skies ready to land at any time, in response to Iran's involvement in an alleged assassination plot that experts have labeled dubious, amidst fears that US and Israeli targets could be hit by attacks.
As we reported last week, during US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's October 3 Tel Aviv visit, Israeli hawks attempted to persuade Panetta to give the green light for a military strike on Iran. Within ten days, details of an alleged assassination plot against a Saudi ambassador emerged and the foiled attack was blamed on Iran. Innumerable experts immediately voiced their doubts about the authenticity of the plot, with 21-year CIA veteran Robert Baer labeling the story "a truly awful Hollywood script".
The US military will respond this week with a series of significant military maneuvers designed to threaten Iran, including, "an American air fleet in Middle East skies ready to land at any moment for any contingency," reports DebkaFile.
"The United States launches a large-scale exercise over the Middle East deploying 41 giant transports of the 22nds Airlift Squadron Monday Oct. 17," states the report, adding that the aircraft will be packed with fully equipped, battle ready troops.
A further seven warships from the Stennis Battle Group will also "provide ground troops with combat support and strike land and sea targets."
The Israeli, Egyptian and Saudi armies have also been placed on maximum preparedness, echoing reports that U.S. troops being sent to the region have also been put on full alert.
The maneuvers are also linked to the scheduled release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas on Tuesday, an event that US intelligence officials fear could set off a chain of attacks in the region against US and Israeli targets. Should embassies be targeted, US troops will be in place to react swiftly.
Geopolitical experts have been consistent in their warnings that Israel was preparing to strike Iran this fall.
Back in July, CIA veteran Baer told KPFK Los Angeles that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was planning an attack on Iran in September to coincide with the Palestine bid for UN membership.
Whether the maneuvers are merely designed to be an act of belligerence against Iran or represent preparations for an actual military strike in support of Israel remains to be seen, but as Gulf News reporter Patrick Seale pointed out Friday, the window of opportunity for an attack on Iran is closing.
"Some western military experts have been quoted as saying that the window of opportunity for an Israeli air attack on Iran will close within two months, since the onset of winter would make such an assault more difficult," writes Seale, adding that the Israelis' eagerness to launch the attack has "caused considerable alarm in Washington and in a number of European capitals."
Both Republican and Democratic US lawmakers have issued strong statements against Iran in recent days, with several all but calling for war. Last week, New York Republican Peter King called on the Obama administration to put troops on standby, labeling the alleged Iranian assassination plot "an act of war". On Sunday, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned that the US and Iran were on a "collision course".
Until next week...
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! "