the former things that were of old: for I am God, and there is none
other beside me.”
With the world growing darker by the day and the forces of antichrist arising with ferocity we would do well to remember it is the Lord who is ultimately in control. Here are just a few verses to help us to remember this and to keep this in mind.
Remember his wonderful works which he has wrought, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. 1 Chronicles 16:12
Remember thy compassions, O Lord, and thy mercies, for they are from everlasting. Psalms 25:6
Forasmuch as I have remembered thee on my bed: in the early seasons I have meditated on thee. Psalms 63:6
I remembered the works of the Lord; for I will remember thy wonders from the beginning. Psalms 77:11
And they remembered that God was their helper, and the most high God was their redeemer. Psalms 78:35
As a father pities his children, the Lord pities them that fear him. For he knows our frame: remember that we are dust. Psalms 103:13-14
Remember his wonderful works that he has done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. Psalms 105:5
He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is merciful and compassionate. Psalms 111:4
For the Lord remembered us in our low estate; for his mercy endures for ever. Psalms 136:23
I remembered the days of old; and I meditated on all thy doings: yea, I meditated on the works of thine hands. Psalms 143:5
Remember the former things that were of old: for I am God, and there is none other beside me. Isaiah 46:9
the Lord in the week ahead and all His wonderful promises to
'HARBINGER' ANCIENT CURSE UTTERED, AGAIN, IN ISRAEL
With forest fires raging, some seek to replace sycamores with cedars
Published: August 2, 2016
“The sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”
– Isaiah 9:10
More than 2,700 years ago, these prophetically significant words were uttered in ancient Israel – bringing upon the Northern Kingdom a curse of destruction.
And they are once again being uttered today in Israel by some who, apparently oblivious to the context of that verse, made famous in America by messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn in his bestselling book, “The Harbinger” and No. 1 bestselling faith movie, “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” cite it as an opportunity to raise money for the replacement of the Jewish state’s burned out forests.
Fires have been raging from north to south in Israel because of a heat wave, with several precious forested areas burned in Israel since April. The northern biblical cities of Megiddo, Mount Carmel and Tiberias, Haifa and Acre are among the victimized areas – including some of the very scenes of the destruction of 722 BC. The hot and dry conditions fueling these fires are not unusual, but the duration of this environment is surprising the Israeli Meteorological Service. The severity of the heat is also shocking experts – temperatures in April reached the highest levels recorded in 130 years.
The all but continuous infernos are causing chaos throughout the Jewish state – even the purity of the water in some communities has been jeopardized.
There is also a deep spiritual significance to the events, as many of the trees now aflame were planted by the Jewish people when they returned to their ancestral homeland. Rabbi Tuly Weisz, founder of the pro-Israel website Israel365.com, argued trees in the Holy Land represent nothing less than God’s prophecies being fulfilled. For that reason, the site is currently sponsoring a tree-planting campaign to replace the fallen trees, urging donors to fulfill “Ezekiel’s prophecy” as laid out in Ezekiel 36:35 – “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden.”
However, prophecy is a double-edged sword. The organization is also using another biblical verse to encourage donations – Isaiah 9:10. The latter half of this verse is quoted by the organiation as reading, “The sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” The implication is forests which were destroyed will be replaced, albeit with a different kind of tree.
Yet this misunderstood verse is not meant to be an optimistic statement of encouragement, nor a prophecy to be fulfilled by God. Rather, it was a demonstration of defiance of God by the leaders of ancient Israel.
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn finds it remarkable – and ominous.
“Amazing that this verse should come now – and in Israel,” said Cahn. “Isaiah 9:10 is one of the most obscure verses in the Bible. Most Bible students had little idea it existed – or at least before ‘The Harbinger’ came out.”
Cahn said the significance of this relatively obscure verse being used in Israel cannot be overemphasized.
“It’s a verse concerning God’s judgment upon a nation,” he said. “It was the verse that Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle proclaimed from Capitol Hill, the day after 9/11. It was the verse that Sen. John Edwards, running for vice president, proclaimed on the anniversary of September 11 in 2004. And it’s the same verse that Barack Obama has proclaimed in one form or another throughout his presidency.”
In Cahn’s book and movie about America facing judgment in the aftermath of 9/11, U.S. leaders – from Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to Sen. John Edwards – were shown to have cited the verse from Isaiah, obviously not comprehending the context.
Likewise, that error was inexplicably repeated by American leaders in many forms after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, Cahn revealed.
“What’s particularly striking is that the verse in its original context has to do with the trees of Israel being struck down and then replanted,” said Cahn. “Now we have a report concerning the same land, the land of Isaiah 9:10 and concerning the same native trees of Isaiah 9:10 – and a proclamation to do the exact same thing in the same place where Isaiah 9:10 was first fulfilled. Of course those making the proclamation have no more idea as to the meaning of their proclamation than did Tom Daschle, John Edwards or Barack Obama. That makes it all the more striking.”
Joseph Farah, producer of “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” had this to add: “The words of Isaiah 9:10 are not words man should be attempting to fulfill. Isaiah 9:10 was a message of warning from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to repent of sin and turn back to Him. It was a mistake when those words were uttered by the leadership of ancient Israel – words that led to its judgment and destruction.”
Rabbi Cahn warned the resurfacing of this verse is an important development to both Americans and Israelis. Indeed, the messianic rabbi argued it could be a sign.
“Since ‘The Harbinger’ came out, America has followed in the same biblical template of judgment as did ancient Israel in its last days before destruction,” Cahn intoned. “If anything we have only accelerated our departure from God and our defiance in the midst of that departure.
“So the fact that now a proclamation comes out of the land of Isaiah 9:10 saying, ‘Now is the time to fulfill the word of Isaiah 9:10. …’ is, in, itself most striking and potentially ominous. Could that in and of itself now be a sign to us?”
Interestingly, Cahn points out, a few verses later in Isaiah 9:18-19, there is an allusion to forest fires in Israel: “For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.”
Is the Oil Which Will Anoint Messiah Being Produced Today?
By Tsivya Fox July 26, 2016 , 9:30 am
“Thou didst eat fine flour and honey and oil; and thou didst wax exceeding beautiful and thou wast meet for royal estate.” Ezekiel 16:13 (The Israel Bible™)
Illustrative: a bottle of olive oil. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)
One of the oldest biblical crafts is olive oil production. Referred to as “liquid gold” by the ancient Greek poet Homer, the term alludes to the beautifying and enriching effects olive oil has on man’s physical appearance and health, not to mention the tasty enhancement it gives to food.
The Hebrew Bible mentions “oil” (in Hebrew shemen) no less than 192 times, with the majority of these cases specifically referring to olive oil. One of its many references relates to the use of olive oil for anointing people or objects. Through the process, the anointed become “kodesh”, or ritually holy. Examples include the use of olive oil for the consecration of the ancient high priests (Kohanim), as well as the articles of the Tabernacle (Exodus 30:26) and the use of persimmon oil for the coronation of the kings of Israel.
The first step of the ancient art of pressing oil is to rake the trees of the olives and gather them together. (Photo: Galilee Green)
The messiah (in Hebrew mashiach) literally means “the anointed one – smeared with oil”. The rabbis explain that the mashiach will be anointed as King of Israel in the End of Days.
After thousands of years of exile, today the Jewish People are back in Israel producing olive oil, which is considered to be among the highest quality and purest in the world.
“Mention olive oil and most people will automatically think of Italy, Spain, Greece or Turkey,” explained Rabbi Shmuel Veffer to Breaking Israel News. Rabbi Veffer is co-founder, along with Nili Abrahams, of Galilee Green, an Israeli company producing premium boutique olive oil for worldwide distribution.
“However, Israeli olive oil is now generally far superior from other countries in that it is almost exclusively extra virgin,” added Abrahams. “Extra virgin olive oil’s taste is outstanding. In fact, Israel does not even have facilities to make a lower-grade olive oil.”
Extra virgin olive oil is regulated by Israeli law. It is made by gently pressing olives either the ancient way, through giant grinding stones, or the modern way, through stainless steel rollers. When no heat is applied during the pressing, the oil is termed “cold pressed” and retains its best flavor and highest nutrient value. It also has the lowest acidity, a critical factor in a high-quality oil.
While European olive oil producers maintain a long production schedule, even keeping harvested olives in storage for months before pressing, Israeli producers harvest and press the olives at a much faster rate.
“One of our secrets for the superior taste of Galilee Green olive oil is that we pick our olives and immediately send them to be pressed into oil the same day,” continued Rabbi Veffer. “This process, as well as our unique mixture of three different strains of olives, makes the flavor of our oil uniquely rich yet light.”
With olive trees growing in the Holy Land for thousands of years, today there are about 330,000 dunams or 81,000 acres, of olive orchards in the country. This produces nearly 16,000 tons of extra virgin olive oil annually. Yet most of this “liquid gold” is primarily for domestic use.
Both the Abrahams and Veffer families are originally from Toronto, Canada, and moved to Israel within the last seven years to Yavne’el, a small farming village in the Galilee. Rabbi Veffer was a leader in Jewish education and outreach for over 25 years as well as an inventor, computer scientist and serial entrepreneur. Nili Abrahams has an MBA and a background in business, marketing and nutrition. They both feel that Galilee Green olive oil is one of their most inspiring projects.
“We recognize the miraculous times that we are living in with the Land of Israel cultivating some of the highest quality produce in the world,” Rabbi Veffer shared with Breaking Israel News. “By sharing the blessings of our olive oil with people around the world, we hope they will come to appreciate that we are living in the times of Ezekiel’s prophecies being fulfilled. We feel so blessed to be part of this process and that so many special people around the world are joining us.”
'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Star Chris Pratt Leads Social Media Followers in Beautifully Simple Prayer
1:00PM EDT 7/28/2016 JESSILYN JUSTICE
Chris Pratt in 'The Magnificent Seven' (Reuters)
Call him Andy Dwyer, Star-Lord or Owen, but actor Chris Pratt has a name he favors above all else: Child of God.
When a fan asked him to pray for a cancer patient, Pratt took the invitation a step further.
"The power of prayer saved my son. This boy Sam needs a miracle. Say a prayer for Sam. Even if you never have b4.Try." Pratt told fans.
And when asked how to come before the throne, Pratt led them all in a simple, heart-felt prayer.
"Lord I pray for Sam. May you put your healing hand on him father. May his family find grace in this difficult time." Pratt tweeted.
The Guardians of the Galaxy 2 star has been vocal about his faith before on social media.
During the Easter season, he and some friends carried and erected a cross to honor their Savior.
Pratt's prayers for the child have been retweeted thousands of times.
Pope Francis defends Muslims and blasts 'Islam is NOT terrorism'
POPE Francis said yesterday it was wrong to identify Islam with terrorism and that social injustice and idolatry of money were among the prime causes of terrorism.
PUBLISHED: 09:47, Mon, Aug 1, 2016 | UPDATED: 10:09, Mon, Aug 1, 2016
Speaking aboard the plane taking him back to Rome after a five-day trip to Poland, he said: “I think it is not right to identify Islam with terrorism.
“It is not right and it is not true.”
Francis was responding to a question about the killing on July 26 of an 85-year-old Roman Catholic priest by knife-wielding attackers who burst into a church service in western France, forced the priest to his knees and slit his throat.
The attack was claimed by ISIS.
He said: “I think that in nearly all religions there is always a small fundamentalist group."
He then added: “We have them,” referring to Catholicism.
The Pope continued: “I don’t like to talk about Islamic violence because every day when I look at the papers I see violence here in Italy - someone killing his girlfriend, someone killing his mother-in-law. These are baptised Catholics.
“If I speak of Islamic violence, I have to speak of Catholic violence. Not all Muslims are violent."
He said there were various causes of terrorism.
The Pope said: “I know it dangerous to say this but terrorism grows when there is no other option and when money is made and it, instead of the person, is put at the centre of the world economy.
“That is the first form of terrorism. That is a basic terrorism against all humanity. Let’s talk about that."
When he started the trip last week, Francis said the killing of the priest and a string of string of other attacks were proof the “world is at war” but that it was not caused by religion.
He told reporters on the plane that lack of economic opportunities for young people in Europe was also to blame for terrorism.
He said: “I ask myself how many young people that we Europeans have left devoid of ideals, who do not have work. Then they turn to drugs and alcohol or enlist in ISIS."
‘Break the Cross’: Islamic State Magazine Mocks Christianity, Claims Jesus Is ‘a Slave of Allah’
by FRANCES MARTEL1 Aug 20165,695
In the latest issue of its English-language magazine Dabiq, the Islamic State calls on Christians to abandon Christianity, arguing that Jesus himself was “a slave of Allah” who will “wage jihad” upon returning to earth.
The fifteenth issue of the magazine, titled “Break the Cross,” is dedicated to convincing Christians that Jesus was a prophet of Allah, was never crucified, and that most of the New Testament is a perversion of Jesus’s story orchestrated by St. Paul, a “criminal” “treacherous Jew” who gave up massacring Christians in order to subvert the religion from the inside. Its articles strive to depict Christianity as a pagan religion based on a false Jesus, arguing that the only true Jesus is the prophet of Islam.
The feigned compassion towards Christians in most of the volume stands in stark contrast to the actions of the Islamic State’s terrorists towards Christian communities, which includes rape, torture, crucifixion, and slavery.
In the issue’s Foreward, the editors make clear the intent of the magazine: the issue will help “Crusaders” “read into why Muslims hate and fight them, why pagan Christians should break their crosses, why liberalist secularists should return to the fitrah (natural human disposition), and why skeptical atheists should recognize their Creator and submit to Him.”
“In essence, we explain why they must abandon their infidelity and accept Islam, the religion of sincerity and submission to the Lord of the heavens and the earth,” the editors write.
Among their reasons are that Jesus himself is a “slave of Allah,” according to Ja’far, a cousin of Muhammad. “We say about him like our prophet taught us – that he is the slave of Allah, His messenger, His [chosen] spirit, and His word which He cast into the pure virgin Mary,” Ja’far is quoted as saying.
The cover story, “Break the Cross,” argues that Jesus will do precisely that upon his return: “break the cross, kill the swine, and put aside the jizyah [infidels’ tax, assuming all the infidels will have been killed].” “The true religion of Jesus Christ is a pure monotheistic submission – called Islam… when he returns in the final days, the Messiah will adhere to the Law of Muhammad and wage jihad for the cause of Allah,” the article argues, citing Islamic doctrine.
It makes the claim that, because there are four gospels, none of which are written by Jesus himself, no part of the New Testament is trustworthy, most of all the crucifixion.” “Jesus was not crucified,” the article argues, quoting Muhammad, who lived 600 years later. The claim that Jesus did not die on the cross appears in the Quran.
As for St. Paul, he is referred to in turn as a “criminal” and “treacherous Jew” who “intentionally sought to deviate the monotheistic Nazarenes in order to tarnish Jesus’ name – even if it meant Paul’s own persecution.” The Holy Trinity being an essential concept of St. Paul’s writings is a form of polytheism, according to Islamic State jihadists, one intended to deceive Christians.
The issue spends much of its time attempting to convert “Unitarians” – Christians who do not believe in the Holy Trinity – while arguing that these Christians were mostly purged by the Roman Church. It claim the “debate between Trinitarians and Unitarians reached the heights of popularity during the fourth century of the Christian calendar.” The issue ignores the continued existence of Unitarian churches, perhaps because the phrase in modern America has taken to mean any rejection of Trinitarianism, and the largest church identifying with the term in the United States, the Unitarian Universalist church, explicitly rejects imposing exclusively Christian doctrine on its members.
The fifteenth Dabiq stands in stark contrast to its predecessor published in April, which featured a cover story condemning the Muslim Brotherhood and focused on condemning “apostate” Muslims, not those outside of Islam.
Survey shows 34 percent of Americans are excited about the prospect of microchips implanted in their brains
Saturday, July 30, 2016 by: Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) More than a third of Americans are "enthusiastic" about the prospect of having microchips implanted in their brains, according to a recent poll.
The Pew Research Center has just published the results of a survey it conducted to find out how Americans felt about the use of biomedical "enhancements" currently in development.
Participants in the survey were asked to read the following text before answering a set of questions:
"New developments in understanding the brain are creating the possibility that doctors will be able to surgically implant a small computer chip in the brain. Right now, these implanted devices are being developed for people with some kind of illness or disability. But in the future, these implanted devices could potentially be available for use by healthy individuals, giving people a much improved ability to concentrate and process information in everyday life."
Are we "meddling with nature"?
Although 41 percent of respondents said they were "somewhat" worried about the potential effects of such technology, while another 28 percent said they were "very" worried, a surprising number of people said they were "somewhat" (25 percent) or "very" (9 percent) enthusiastic about the concept.
Roughly two-thirds of Americans said they would not be interested in using this technology for themselves, but 32 percent said they would want such implants if they could actually improve their brain function.
While a majority (61 percent) of Americans admitted they had never been aware such technology might exist, those familiar with brain implants were more inclined to embrace the concept.
Religious people were much less likely to accept the idea of brain implants - for instance, 51 percent of religious American adults said that to them such technology would be morally unacceptable and would constitute "meddling with nature."
Among atheists and agnostics, the percentages of those in favor were much higher - 58 percent of atheists and 48 percent of agnostics said they would be interested in receiving brain implants.
The DARPA factor
One can reasonably assume that the folks at DARPA - who have spent $62 million researching microchip brain implant technology - are perusing the Pew survey findings with great interest.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) appears to be on the verge of perfecting a neural-coding device which will "open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics."
DARPA has already successfully tested their own brain implant microchips on animals, and human trials are set to begin in 2017.
The neural-coding devices being developed by DARPA are ostensibly designed to control artificial limbs, but it seems obvious that their potential is much greater. As DARPA itself admitted, the technology will be capable of enabling "data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world, feeding digital auditory or visual information into the brain."
In other words, such implants would potentially be extremely effective brainwashing devices that could be just as easily be used to control people - as well as prosthetic limbs.
Brain implant technology has the potential of improving the lives of those with certain disabilities, but are we really prepared for a future in which normal, healthy people receive - willingly or not - brain implants that might either "improve" a person's mental function or perhaps even diminish it?
The potential negative effects and sinister uses of such technology would appear to be significant, but it seems there are plenty of people who will be happy to take the risk.
Of course, the media is helping to prepare us for our dystopian future, along with social media moguls such as Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who supports DARPA's agenda and the idea of using such devices to monitor the public's thoughts.
At a Bilderberg conference, Schmidt said - regarding DARPA's mind-reading technology - that if "you have something that you don't want anybody to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."
Welcome to the future, folks...
Satanic Temple rolls out after-school program for kids
Published time: 1 Aug, 2016 12:57
Edited time: 1 Aug, 2016 18:00
The Satanic Temple (TST) is planning to bring Lucifer to school by rolling out extra-curricular clubs across the US. ‘After School Satan’ is the Temple’s response to a Supreme Court ruling allowing evangelical religious programs to operate in schools.
Currently, nine clubs are listed as participating in the program including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Washington DC. The clubs will focus on “rationalism, free inquiry... and fun,” according to a promotional video.
The Temple is taking aim at the Good News Club, an interdenominational Christian program for five to 12-year-olds operating in over 3,500 public schools across the US. The club’s curriculum was created by the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) and includes Bible studies.
TST said it is “not interested in operating After School Satan Clubs in school districts that are not already hosting the Good News Club.”
A spokesperson for TST, Lucien Greaves, said After School Satan clubs will bring diversity to the religious opinions children are exposed to in school. It will give them an option other than the Good News Club, which he claimed instills children “with a fear of Hell and God’s wrath.”
“We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors,” Greaves said. Reasoning, social skills and science are listed on the clubs’ curriculum.
The CEF won a landmark case in 2001 when the Supreme Court ruled that a public school that allows the use of its facilities to secular groups could not discriminate. Schools that allow the Good News Club to operate are “not at liberty” to deny their facilities to TST, according to Greaves, including fliers, brochures and school-wide announcements.
TST said it believes religion should be kept out of schools but that it must fight to “ensure that plurality and true religious liberty are respected.”
Speaking to The Salt Lake Tribune, Mat Staver, from policy organization the Liberty Counsel, said TST’s planned clubs are protected by the first amendment. Staver said he believes the clubs, which will require permission slips signed by the child's parent/guardian, will be poorly attended and fade away.
The Temple, which claims not to worship Satan but instead view him as a metaphor for rebellion and rational inquiry, applied to read the invocation of a city council meeting in Phoenix earlier this year.
Mother nature flashes a smile as Hawaii volcano appears to show off a red hot grin complete with glowing eyes when molten lava hits the sea
Photographer captured aerial video of Hawaiian volcano Kilauea's lava flow appearing to form a smiley face
The video shows the lava flowing on its slopes in the rugged Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes and rises 4,190 feet above sea level on the Big Island of Hawaii
By VALERIE EDWARDS and JAMES GORDON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 02:33, 30 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:05, 30 July 2016
A photographer captured incredible footage of a Hawaiian volcano's lava flow 'smiling' as it reached the Pacific Ocean.
The aerial video shows Kilauea's lava reaching the coast as it flowed down its slopes in the rugged Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on earlier this week.
The video which was taken by Paradise Helicopters show the volcano appear to form a giant smiley face as it pumps out lava into the sea.
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes. It is a shield-type volcano that makes up the southeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii, according to LiveScience.
The volcano rises 4,190 feet above sea level and is about 14 per cent of the land area of the Big Island.
The 6.5 mile-long lava flow has been dribbling down the south flank of Kilauea since May and finally reached the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday morning.
According to the USGS, the flow is about 20 meters (66 feet) wide when it finally spills over the cliff into the sea.
The red-hot lava creates huge plumes of steam as it hits the water and begins cooling into rock, delighting locals and eager tourists.
The USGS warns that getting too close can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly. The agency has released a pamphlet listing the risks from collapsing ledges, acid fumes, steam vents that can toss rocks and jets of hot lava — not to mention the risk of heat stroke, sprained ankles and other injuries on the hike.
Kilauea has been active since 1983, but this is the first time in three years that lava has reached the ocean.
Rothschild Bank Now Under Criminal Investigation After Baron David De Rothschild Indictment
MARCH 6, 2016
By Matt Agorist
Last year, Baron David de Rothschild was indicted by the French government after he was accused of fraud in a scheme that allegedly embezzled large sums of money from British pensioners.
It has taken many years to bring this case against Rothschild and his company the Rothschild Financial Services Group, which trapped hundreds of pensioners in a bogus loan scheme between the years of 2005 and 2008.
One by one the pensioners lost their money and pressed charges against the notorious banker, beginning a case that would take many years to get even an indictment.
In June, Paris-based liaison judge Javier Gómez Bermudez ruled that Rothschild must face a trial for his crimes, and ordered local police to seek him out in his various mansions that are spread throughout the country.
“It is a good step in the right direction. The courts are now in agreement with us that there is enough evidence to interrogate Baron Rothschild. The first thing they will have to do is find him. Once they have done that they can begin to question him. It is a real breakthrough moment for everyone involved,” lawyer Antonio Flores of Lawbird told the Olive Press after the ruling.
“In short, independently of what happened to the investment, Rothschild advertised a loan aimed at reducing inheritance tax, which is a breach of tax law,” he added.
While news of a single Rothschild being indicted is certainly noteworthy, a particularly important announcement was made this Friday.
The French government announced that it has launched an investigation into the entire Swiss branch of the Rothschild’s banking empire.
Now Erdogan ‘wants to smash secret NATO army’ over alleged role in Turkey coup
PRESIDENT Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to destroy a secret NATO army over its alleged role in the failed military coup.
By KATIE MANSFIELD
PUBLISHED: 05:26, Thu, Aug 4, 2016 | UPDATED: 07:54, Thu, Aug 4, 2016
Turkish media now claims operatives from the clandestine Cold War Operation Gladio took part in the bloodbath which killed 294 people and injured more than 1,400 others.
Turkey's government says the coup attempt was orchestrated by followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.
Mr Gulen denies the charge and has condemned the coup.
Conspiracy theories over foreign involvement have been fuelled by Turkish media, with some claiming Mr Gulen is a member of the NATO secret army.
Operation Gladio was the codename for a clandestine NATO operation in Italy during the Cold War to prepare for and carry out armed resistance there in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion and conquest.
Turkish journalist Ozcan Tikit wrote in Turkish newspaper Habertürk: “If one wants to again create relationship of trust with the Western institutions, Gladio in Turkey must be eliminated as it already was in several Western countries.”
President Erdogan is said to be determined to remove Gladio from Turkey.
Turkish propaganda claims the secret network is responsible for a number of political murders in the country.
The claim comes just days after President Erdogan fuelled speculation that the United States was involved in the coup.
He told Turkish media that Gulen was a pawn backed by a “mastermind”.
The Turkish President often refers to a "mastermind" in his speeches, a reference widely seen as an allusion to the West in general and the United States (US) more specifically.
The US has denied any involvement and any prior knowledge of the failed attempt to overthrow the government.
Turkey is currently under a state of emergency.
Former head of Turkish intelligence services Bülent Orakoglu has claimed NATO’s secret army is working to destroy the European Union (EU).
Since the failed coup President Erdogan’s government has rounded up 60,000 people including rebels, judges, civil servants and teachers.
Turkish politicians have been frustrated by US and European criticism of the purge that has followed the coup, accusing the West of greater concern about the rights of the plotters than the gravity of the threat to a NATO member state.
As part of the crackdown President Erdogan has issued two decrees dismissing around 3,000 members of NATO's second-biggest armed forces since the coup, including more than 40 per cent of generals.
He has also shut down military high schools and brought force commanders under tighter government control.
In the next 40 hours Turkey complete an overhaul of its intelligence agency and make new appointments to its gendarmerie as it tries to rid its security apparatus of reported followers of Mr Gulen.
US Established Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to 'Redraw Middle East' Borders
20:50 03.08.2016(updated 20:52 03.08.2016)
Turkish politicians and activists based in the Adana province, home to the Incirlik air base, told Sputnik that they want Ankara to close the facility or at least ban the US and other NATO countries from using it because Washington has utilized it to carry out its destabilizing strategy in the Middle East.
Hayri Akgun, chairman of the Freedom and Solidarity Party's (ÖDP) regional branch, maintained that Incirlik "is a major stumbling block on [Turkey's] way to independence" since the United States has used it to carry out its plans in the region. "The main goal of creating the base was to redraw the entire [map of] the Middle East," he added.
The ÖDP has been a staunch opponent of the base, built by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1951, and has repeatedly held protest rallies, urging the authorities to close it.
"Dagger in the heart of the Middle East"
Selver Kaplan, who heads the local office of the Patriotic Party (Vatan), is convinced that the US was behind the unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Coup plans were devised at the Incirlik Air Base," she said. "We received this information from the people working there."
On July 15, a group of midlevel military officers staged a coup, but failed to come to power. The Turkish commander of the air base was arrested in the purges that followed.
The politician did not demand that the military facility be closed, but she urged the Turkish leadership to prevent the US and other foreign nations from using it. "Incirlik must only be made available to the Turkish military," he said.
Kaplan also accused the US of playing a destabilizing role in the region.
"If the air base remains open for the US and other countries, terrorist attacks will continue to take place. Assaults on our police and military officers, as well as the people will not stop. Incirlik is the hotbed of all terror acts. It is the command center of the game that is being played in the Middle East," she said. "Incirlik is a dagger in the heart of the Middle East."
"Blow to Turkey's independence"
Sevil Araci, chairman of the Labor Party's (EMEP) regional organization, called the Incirlik air base a "blow to independence of our country."
"We have always said that there must be no similar bases in Turkish territory. We view these facilities as an external interference," the politician noted. "There must be no foreign military installations in Turkey. All agreements on this issue must be made void. This is what we are fighting for."
The Labor Party has held numerous rallies against the base and plans to continue these activities in the future.
Mustafa Gozutok, who chairs the local office of the Felicity Party (SP), echoed these sentiments, saying that it was "unacceptable to use the Incirlik air base against Turkey."
"We are against this base and we want it to be closed. We are planning to hold rallies to demand that it is closed," he said.
Incirlik "served as command and control center of the coup"
Ibrahim Kaya, a local merchant, said that Incirlik was at the heart of the botched coup.
"US military personnel and Turkish military command joined forces. The Incirlik air base served as the command and control center of the coup. Incirlik's role in the coup was enormous. Planes and aerial tankers took off from Incirlik," he said.
Kaya further noted that no one expected the US military in the country to support those, who tried to overthrow Erdogan. "We were living here as brothers. Sadly, it turned out that we are not brothers," he added.
The merchant mentioned that local trade has been affected by the failed coup attempt.
Halil Yildirim, a local street vendor, echoed these sentiments, saying that US troops, who are his main customers, are staying at the base due to security concerns. As long as things stay the same, businesses in the region have nothing to do.
He also said that locals don't want the base to be closed because the 1,500 people employed there will be out of work.
Russia says warned US before Aleppo toxic attack by militants
Wed Aug 3, 2016 8:34PM
Moscow says it had warned Washington about the use of toxic shells by a US-backed “moderate” militant group before the Tuesday attack that killed seven people and injured over 20 more in Syria’s Aleppo.
On Wednesday, Lieutenant-General Sergey Chvarkov, the director of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, said the information was given to the US on Monday, a day prior to the attack.
The Russian Ministry of Defense also confirmed that the attack in Aleppo was launched by a Takfiri terrorist group.
“On August 2, 2016 at 19 hours 05 minutes militants from the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki group, considered by Washington as ‘moderate opposition’, launched poisonous materials from the Sukkari district towards the eastern part of Aleppo,” read a statement released by the ministry.
Moscow has long insisted that the US-backed so-called moderate opposition groups in Syria should leave the areas held by terrorists. Washington claims it is unable to remove the opposition groups.
It also noted that the shells were fired from militant-held areas towards a residential area.
According to reports, the gas used in the attack was Chlorine, which is highly toxic and leads to respiratory problems and consciousness loss in those who come in contact to it.
On April 7, 23 people lost their lives and over 100 others suffered breathing difficulties when Daesh terrorists carried out a chemical attack against members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood of Aleppo.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Back in 2014, the UN said it would no more update its death toll for Syria because it could not verify the figures that it received from various sources.
Gaddafi’s Ghosts: Return of the Libyan Jamahiriya
Dan Glazebrook is a freelance political writer who has written for RT, Counterpunch, Z magazine, the Morning Star, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Independent and Middle East Eye, amongst others. His first book “Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis” was published by Liberation Media in October 2013. It featured a collection of articles written from 2009 onwards examining the links between economic collapse, the rise of the BRICS, war on Libya and Syria and 'austerity'. He is currently researching a book on US-British use of sectarian death squads against independent states and movements from Northern Ireland and Central America in the 1970s and 80s to the Middle East and Africa today.
Published time: 30 Jul, 2016 11:30
When NATO murdered Gaddafi and blitzed his country in 2011, they hoped the socialist ‘Jamahiriya’ movement he led would be dead and buried. Now his son has been released from prison to a hero’s welcome with his movement increasingly in the ascendancy.
There were various moments during NATO’s destruction of Libya that were supposed to symbolically crown Western supremacy over Libya and its institutions (and, by implication, over all African and Arab peoples): the ‘fall of Tripoli’ in August 2011; Cameron and Sarkozy’s victory speeches the following month; the lynch-mob execution of Muammar Gaddafi that came soon after. All of them were pyrrhic victories - but none more so than the death sentence handed down to Gaddafi’s son (and effective deputy leader) Saif al-Gaddafi in July 2015.
Saif had been captured by the Zintan militia shortly after his father and brother were killed by NATO’s death squads in late 2011. The ‘International’ Criminal Court – a neocolonial farce which has only ever indicted Africans – demanded he be handed over to them, but the Zintan – fiercely patriotic despite having fought with NATO against Gaddafi – refused. Over the next two years the country descended into the chaos and societal collapse that Gaddafi had predicted, sliding inexorably towards civil war.
By 2014, the country’s militias had coalesced around two main groupings – the Libyan National Army, composed of those who supported the newly elected, and mainly secular, House of Representatives; and the Libya Dawn coalition, composed of the militias who supported the Islamist parties that had dominated the country’s previous parliament but refused to recognize their defeat at the polls in 2014. After fierce fighting, the Libya Dawn faction took control of Tripoli. It was there that Saif, along with dozens of other officials of the Jamahiriya – the Libyan ‘People’s State’ which Gaddafi had led – were put on trial for their life. However, once again the Zintan militia – allied to the Libyan National Army - refused to hand him over. After a trial condemned by human rights groups as “riddled with legal flaws”, in a court system dominated by the Libya Dawn militias, an absent Saif was sentenced to death, along with eight other former government officials. The trial was never recognized by the elected government, by then relocated to Tobruk. A gloating Western media made sure to inform the world of the death sentence, which they hoped would extinguish forever the Libyan people’s hopes for a restoration of the independence, peace and prosperity his family name had come to represent.
It was a hope that would soon be dashed. Less than a year later, the France 24 news agency arranged an interview with Saif Al Gaddafi’s lawyer Karim Khan in which he revealed to the world that Saif had in fact, “been given his liberty on April 12, 2016", in accordance with the amnesty law passed by the Tobruk parliament the previous year. Given the crowing over Saif’s death sentence the previous year, and his indictment by the International Criminal Court, this was a major story. Yet, by and large, it was one the Western media chose to steadfastly ignore - indeed, the BBC did not breathe a single word about it.
What is so significant about his release, however, is what it represents: the recognition, by Libya’s elected authorities, that there is no future for Libya without the involvement of the Jamahiriya movement.
The truth is, this movement never went away. Rather, having been forced underground in 2011, it has been increasingly coming out into the open, building up its support amongst a population sick of the depravities and deprivations of the post-Gaddafi era.
Exactly five years ago, following the start of the NATO bombing campaign, Libyans came out onto the streets in massive demonstrations in support of their government in Tripoli, Sirte, Zlitan and elsewhere. Even the BBC admitted that “there is no discounting the genuine support that exists”, adding that "’Muammar is the love of millions’ was the message written on the hands of women in the square”.
Following the US-UK-Qatari invasion of Tripoli the following month, however, the reign of terror by NATO’s death squad militias ensured that public displays of such sentiments could end up costing one’s life. Tens of thousands of ‘suspected Gaddafi supporters’ were rounded up by the militias in makeshift ‘detention camps’ were torture and abuse was rife; around 7,000 are estimated to be there still to this day, and hundreds have been summarily executed.
Black people in particular were targeted, seen as symbolic of the pro-African policies pursued by Gaddafi but hated by the supremacist militias, with the black Libyan town of Tawergha turned into a ghost town overnight as Misratan militias made good on their promise to kill all those who refused to leave. Such activities were effectively legalised by the NATO-imposed ‘Transitional National Council’ whose Laws 37 and 38 decreed that public support for Gaddafi could be punished by life imprisonment and activities taken ‘in defence of the revolution’ would be exempt from prosecution.
Nevertheless, over the years that followed, as the militias turned on each other and the country rapidly fell apart, reports began to suggest that much of southern Libya was slowly coming under the control of Gaddafi’s supporters. On January 18th 2014, an air force base near the southern city of Sabha was taken by Gaddafi loyalists, frightening the new government enough to impose a state of emergency, ban Libya’s two pro-Gaddafi satellite stations, and embark on aerial bombing missions in the south of the country.
But it was, ironically, the passing of the death sentences themselves – intended to extinguish pro-Gaddafi sentiment for good - that triggered the most open and widespread demonstrations of support for the former government so far, with protests held in August 2015 across the country, and even in ISIS-held Sirte. Middle East Eye reported the following from the demonstration in Sabha (in which 7 were killed when militias opened fire on the protesters): “Previous modest pro-Gaddafi celebrations in the town had been overlooked by the Misratan-led Third Force, stationed in Sabha for over a year - originally to act as a peacekeeping force following local clashes.
‘This time, I think the Third Force saw the seriousness of the pro-Gaddafi movement because a demonstration this big has not been seen in the last four years,’ said Mohamed. ‘There were a lot of people, including women and children, and people were not afraid to show their faces … IS had threatened to shoot anyone who protested on Friday, so there were no green flags in towns they control, apart from Sirte, although there are some green flags flying in remote desert areas,’ he said. ‘But if these protests get stronger across the whole of Libya, people will become braver and we will see more green flags. I know many people who are just waiting for the right time to protest.’”
In Sirte, demonstrators were fired at by ISIS fighters, who dispersed the group and took away seven people, including four women. The same Middle East Eye report made the following comment: “The protests have been a public representation of a badly kept secret in Libya, that the pro-Gaddafi movement which has existed since the 2011 revolution has grown in strength, born out of dissatisfaction with the way life has worked out for many ordinary citizens in the last four years…[Mohamed] added that some people who had originally supported the 2011 revolution had joined the protests. Most Libyans just want a quiet life. They don’t care who takes over or who controls Libya’s money, they just want a comfortable life. That’s why Gaddafi stayed in power for 42 years. Salaries were paid on time, we had good subsidies on all the essentials and living was cheap.”
Japanese people 'dying from overwork' by putting in more than 60 hours a week
'Karoshi' – either from a fatal heart attack or stroke, or a suicide triggered by overwork – is now a recognised cause of death
Anna Fifield Kashiwa
Tuesday 2 August 2016
Japan's ageing population means its workforce is expected to shrink by at least a quarter by 2050 Getty
In the West, there's no end to stories and listicles and books telling you how to work more productively so you can spend more time with your family or doing the things you love.
In Japan, there's not even a term for "work-life balance". What there is, though, is a word for "death by overwork." It's "karoshi", and it's considered such an inevitable result of Japan's notoriously gruelling work culture that it's hardly even discussed.
But every year here, hundreds, maybe thousands, of Japanese people literally work themselves to death.
Kiyotaka Serizawa was one of them.
A year ago in July, the 34-year-old killed himself after working crazy hours – 90 hours a week during the last weeks of his life – at a company that does maintenance at apartment buildings.
"His colleagues told me that they were amazed how much he worked," his father, Kiyoshi Serizawa, said in an interview in their family home. "They said they'd never seen anyone who didn't even own the company work so hard."
Japan has a working culture where spending long hours at the grindstone, or in compulsory social situations with superiors after work, is the norm.
It began in the 1970s, when wages were relatively low and employees wanted to maximise their earnings. It continued through the boom years of the 1980s, when Japan became the world's second-largest economy and everyone was on the juggernaut.
And it remained after the bubble burst in the late 1990s, when companies began restructuring and employees stayed at work to try to ensure they weren't laid off.
Still, irregular workers – who worked without benefits or job security – were brought in, making the regular workers toil even harder.
Now, no one blinks an eyelid at 12-hour-plus days.
"In a Japanese workplace, overtime work is always there. It's almost as if it is part of scheduled working hours," said Koji Morioka, an emeritus professor at Kansai University who is on a committee of experts advising the government on ways to combat karoshi. "It's not forced by anyone, but workers feel it like it's compulsory."
While the basic workweek is 40 hours, many workers don't put in extra hours for fear of being given a bad performance evaluation. This has led to the concept of "service overtime" – "service" being Japanese for "free".
This relentless schedule has led to karoshi – either from a fatal heart attack or stroke, or a suicide triggered by overwork – becoming a recognised cause of death. Labour ministry figures show that 189 deaths were classified this way last year, although experts think the actual number is in the thousands.
Karoshi has long been considered a male problem, but advocates say they're seeing an increasing number of women dying, almost always by killing themselves.
The striking thing about them is that they're very young, often in their 20s, said Hiroshi Kawahito, a lawyer and secretary-general of the National Defense Counsel for Victims of Karoshi, which fights for victims' families.
Kawahito represented the family of a journalist in her early 30s who died of a heart attack. When a reporter gasped, he added: "It's actually not rare in Japan for people in their early 30s to have heart attacks."
Once a death is classified as karoshi, a victim's family is automatically entitled to compensation through a kind of workers' benefits system. The number of claims for karoshi-related cases rose to a record high of 2,310 in the year ending in March, government figures show.
But less than a third of applications are successful, Kawahito said.
Kiyotaka Serizawa's death was officially certified last month. He was a supervisor responsible for overseeing building janitors in three separate locations north-east of Tokyo.
Struggling to keep up, Kiyotaka had tried to resign a year before his death, but his boss refused to accept his notice. Apparently concerned about inconveniencing his subordinates, he carried on working.
He would sometimes stop at his parents' house to sleep as he drove between offices. "He would lie here on this couch and go into such a deep sleep that I would come and check on him to make sure his heart was still beating," said his mother, Mitsuko Serizawa.
The last time his mother saw him was July last year, when he came to collect the laundry he'd been too busy to do. He stopped off for 10 minutes and watched some cute cat videos on his phone with his cat-mad mother.
But then, on 26 July, he went missing. Three weeks later, his body was found in his car in Nagano Prefecture, not far from a place where he'd gone on family camping holidays as a child. He'd burned briquettes in his car and died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Although karoshi has been a problem for several decades, it was only 18 months ago that the government passed legislation to try to tackle the problem.
The act sets specific targets, such as reducing the percentage of employees working for more than 60 hours a week to 5 per cent by 2020, from the 8 to 9 per cent range recorded in the past few years.
The government is also trying to get employees to actually take their paid vacation leave. Most Japanese workers get 20 days leave a year, but few take even half of that because of a working culture in which taking days off is seen as a sign of slacking or lack of commitment to the job.
The government hopes to entice workers to take at least 70 per cent of their leave owed.
"If you're conscious of this right, then you can show that there's nothing wrong with taking time off," said Yasukazu Kurio of the ministry of health and labour's office for the prevention of karoshi. Kurio is trying to set a good example: Last year he took 17 of his 20 days.
Kawahito, the lawyer, said that the government's efforts could have some impact at the margins but that they don't deal with the fundamental problem.
"There's nothing that's stated under this act to penalise companies that break the rules," said Kawahito, who's not exactly a role model for work-life balance. As a younger lawyer, he used to work long hours, but now that he's reached the age of 66, he's cut back to about 60 hours a week.
Still, he wants to see a law like the European Working Time Directive that stipulates 11 hours off between shifts.
The karoshi problem is exacerbated by the relative weakness of labour unions, which have been primarily concerned with raising wages rather than shortening working hours, and the Japanese practice of having a job for life. Most university students go into a company or a ministry after graduation with the expectation they'll be there until they retire.
"In a country like the US, people have more freedom to move to a company that treats you better," said Kenichi Kuroda, a professor at Meiji University in Tokyo who specialises in labour culture. "But in Japan, people tend to stay at one company for life, so it's difficult for people to move on."
Some companies, especially in the financial sector, are taking the initiative by allowing employees to come in earlier and leave earlier. So instead of working from nine to nine, they're now working from seven to seven and can be home in time to see their children.
"These companies are finding ways to bring about social change, and it could influence other companies by showing how they're creating a 'dream lifestyle'," Kuroda said, laughing to show he knew 12-hour days would not be considered revolutionary elsewhere.
Still, the problem is going to be difficult to alleviate.
Japan's population is aging rapidly, with the workforce expected to shrink by at least a quarter by 2050. That means even fewer people available to work, increasing the workloads of those who remain.
Morioka, the professor, said that eliminating death by overwork will mean changing the entire working culture of Japan.
"It's impossible to get rid of karoshi alone," he said. "We need to change the overtime culture and create the time for family and hobbies. Long working hours are the root of all evil in Japan. People are so busy they don't even have the time to complain."
Until next week...keep on believing.
balances are an abomination before the Lord: but a just weight is
acceptable unto him.”